Prehospital care is an important part of emergency medicine, but in some countries that have a de-centralized ambulance system, patients must first understand how the services work before they can be utilized to their full potential.

Recently, members of the JH-IIRU team, including associated faculty members Aruna Chandran, and Junaid Razzak from the Department of Emergency Medicine at Aga Khan University, as well as JH-IIRU director, Adnan Hyder, published a paper that examined patient perceptions of ambulance usage in Karachi, Pakistan. The purpose of the study was to analyze patient perspectives of the ambulance system in order to understand how to improve ambulance use.

In “Insights on the Effects of Patient Perceptions and Awareness on Ambulance Usage in Karachi, Pakistan,” published in the September issue of Emergency Medicine Journal, the team found patient perceptions fell under three major headings: mistrust of the ambulance services; belief in the inadequacy of ambulance services and a lack of knowledge about both ambulance service and prehosptial care. The researchers determined that in order to improve overall prehospital care, changing perceptions of ambulance services is as important as improving the ambulance services themselves.

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