About 50% of deaths from road traffic collisions occur within minutes at the scene or in transit and before arrival at hospital. For those patients who are taken to hospital, 15% of deaths occur within the first 4 hours after the crash, and 35% occur after 4 hours. Post-crash (trauma) care or trauma management refers to the initial medical treatment provided after a crash, whether it is administered at the scene, during the transportation to a medical centre or indeed subsequently. Effective post-crash care, including fast transport to the correct facility by qualified personnel, reduces the consequences of injury. Research indicates that reducing the time between the crash and the arrival of emergency medical services from 25 to 15 minutes could reduce deaths by one third and that systematised training of rescue and ambulance teams may reduce the extrication time of entrapped car and truck crash victims by 40-50%.
In this context, the Commission is closely monitoring the effects of the roll-out of eCall, the automated emergency call in the event of a crash.
A regards post-crash care, the Commission:
- is assessing the effect of eCall and will be evaluating the possible extension to other categories of vehicles (heavy goods vehicles, buses and coaches, motorcycles, and agricultural tractors);
- is facilitating closer contacts between road safety authorities and the health sector to assess further practical and research needs (e.g. how to improve on-scene diagnosis as well as communication systems and standards for emergency services, further develop rescue procedures, ensure matching injuries with qualified staff and appropriate medical facilities, how to transport injured persons to emergency facilities or medical care to accident sites more quickly, e.g. by drones).
As a result of the technical work of the Commission services with Member State experts, the following KPI is being used:
KPI for post-crash care: Time elapsed in minutes and seconds between the emergency call following a collision resulting in personal injury, and the arrival at the scene of the emergency services.