Prehospital emergency care

​Prehospital emergency care belongs to health care emergency services and is a subsection of the medical field of anesthesiology and intensive care. In prehospital emergency care, the patient's status typically needs urgent assessment and often the patient is treated at the site of the incident, for example the patient's home or workplace or a public place. Transportation to a hospital or health station is part of prehospital emergency care.

In the HUS area, prehospital emergency care services also include alerting a first response unit (typically a rescue unit) in situations where an acutely ill or injured patient needs urgent care while waiting for the ambulance to arrive.

Non-urgent patient transfers between different care facilities and taking patients home after being discharged from hospital are not part of prehospital emergency care services.

According to the new Health Care Act, prehospital emergency care is organised by the hospital districts. The top priorities in planning prehospital emergency care include ensuring equal access to the services and for the service to reach patients requiring emergency care within the regionally specified time limits. Detailed planning is vital to guarantee successful co-operation between the Emergency Response Centre, the rescue services, the police and other officials and agents. Prehospital emergency care services also maintain and improve disaster preparedness.

Prehospital emergency care in the HUS Area

The HUS Area is divided into seven prehospital emergency care service regions. Each region develops and monitors operations within its boundaries. A physician in charge has been appointed for each of the seven regions, and prehospital emergency care services are organised by the hospital district alone or in co-operation with the local rescue services or private enterprises offering patient transport services.

Because of its large population base, the HUS Area is serviced by two prehospital emergency care physician units. In the HUCH Helsinki area, the physician staffed ground unit service is organised with the Helsinki City Rescue Department. An ambulance helicopter (HEMS) is stationed at Helsinki airport to address medical emergencies  in need of physician service in other regions.

The seven prehospital emergency care service regions and their member municipalities in the Hospital District of Helsinki and Uusimaa are:

  • HUCH Helsinki (Helsinki)
  • HUCH Jorvi (Espoo, Kirkkonummi and Kauniainen)
  • HUCH Peijas (Vantaa and Kerava)
  • Hyvinkää Hospital Area (Hyvinkää, Järvenpää, Mäntsälä, Nurmijärvi and Tuusula)
  • Lohja Hospital Area (Karjalohja, Karkkila, Lohja, Nummi-Pusula and Siuntio)
  • Länsi-Uusimaa Hospital Area (Hanko, Inkoo and Raasepori)
  • Porvoo Hospital Area (Askola, Lapinjärvi, Loviisa, Pornainen, Porvoo and Sipoo).