Emergency motorcycle: has it a place in a
medical emergency system?
Miguel Soares-Oliveira MD
, Paula Egipto MD,
Isabel Costa RN, Luis Manuel Cunha-Ribeiro MD
Instituto Nacional de Emergencia Me´dica (INEM) R Dr Alfredo Magalhaes, 62, 4000-063 Porto, Portugal
Received 7 September 2006; revised 3 November 2006; accepted 12 November 2006
Introduction/Aim: In an emergency medical service system, response time is an important factor in
determining the prognosis of a victim. There are well-documented increases in response time in urban
areas, mainly during rush hour. Because prehospital emergency care is required to be efficient and swift,
alternative measures to achieve this goal should be addressed. We report our experience with a medical
emergency motorcycle (MEM) and propose major criteria for dispatching it.
Material and Methods: This work presents a prospective analysis of the data relating to MEM calls
from July 2004 to December 2005. The analyzed parameters were age, sex, reason for call, action, and
need for subsequent transport. A comparison was made of the need to activate more means and, if so,
whether the MEM was the first to arrive.
Results: There were 1972 calls. The average time of arrival at destination was 4.4 F 2.5 minutes. The
main action consisted of administration of oxygen (n = 626), immobilization (n = 118), and control of
hemorrhage (n = 101). In 63% of cases, MEM arrived before other emergency vehicles. In 355 cases
(18%), there was no need for transport.
Conclusion: The MEM can intervene in a wide variety of clinical situations and a quick response is
guaranteed. Moreover, in specific situations, MEM safely and efficiently permits better management of
emergency vehicles. We propose that it should be dispatched mainly in the following situations: true
life-threatening cases and uncertain need for an ambulance.
D 2007 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Survival from cardiac arrest is dependent on response
time. Benefits have been demonstrated with lower response
times [1,2]. Thus, prehospital emergency care should be
efficient and swift. The usual traffic congestion in larger cities
means that achieving these objectives is somewhat affected
when traditional medical emergency vehicles are used [3,4].
Medical emergency motorcycles (MEM) are used in
several countries, although few results have been published
to date, and they may provide advantages in the provision of
prehospital emergency medical care, by reducing response
times, as described by various authors [3-7].
The authors present the results of their analysis based
on their experience with this type of vehicle within a
0735-6757/$ – see front matter D 2007 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
* Corresponding author. Instituto Nacional de Emergeˆncia Me´dica
(INEM)—Delegac¸a˜o Norte, 4000-063 Porto, Portugal. Tel.: +351
222065029; fax: +351 222065010.
E-mail address: email@example.com (M. Soares-Oliveira).
American Journal of Emergency Medicine (2007) 25, 620 – 622