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On-line version ISSN 2223-6279
Print version ISSN 0379-8577

Curationis vol.32 n.1 Pretoria  2009




Response times of ambulances to calls from Midwife Obstetric Units of the Peninsula Maternal and Neonatal Service (PMNS) in Cape Town



JK MarcusI; SE ClowII

IPGDipN (Advanced Midwifery) RA, RN, RCHN, RPN. Division of Nursing and Midwifery, School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, Faculty of Health Sciences University of Cape Town
IIMSc (Nursing), BSocSc, AUDNE, RN, RM, RCHN. Associate Professor, Division of Nursing and Midwifery, School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town





Response times of ambulances to calls from Midwife Obstetric Units, although varied, are perceived as slow. Delays in transporting women experiencing complications during or after their pregnancies to higher levels of care may have negative consequences such as fetal, neonatal or maternal morbidity or death.
An exploratory descriptive study was undertaken to investigate the response times of ambulances of the Western Cape Emergency Medical Services to calls from midwife obstetric units (MOUs) in the Peninsula Maternal and Neonatal Services (PMNS) in Cape Town. Response times were calculated from data collected in specific MOUs using a specifically developed instrument. Recorded data included time of call placed requesting transfer, diagnosis or reason for transfer, priority of call and the time of arrival of ambulance to the requesting facility. Mean, median and range of response times, in minutes, to various MOUs and priorities of calls were calculated. These were then compared using the Kruskal-Wallis test. A comparison was then made between the recorded and analysed response times to national norms and recommendations for ambulance response times and maternal transfer response times respectively.
A wide range of response times was noted for the whole sample. Median response times across all priorities of calls and to all MOUs in sample fell short of national norms and recommendations. No statistical differences were noted between various priorities of calls and MOUs.
The perception of delayed response times of ambulances to MOUs in the PMNS was confirmed in this pilot study.

Key words: MOU, ambulance, response time, PMNS



“Full text available only in PDF format”




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Jason Marcus
Clinical Skills Centre
Faculty of Health Sciences
University of Cape Town
Anzio Road
Observatory, 7925
Tel: (021)4066704; Fax:(021)4486815

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