Open Access Study protocol

The effect of paramedic training on pre-hospital trauma care (EPPTC-study): a study protocol for a prospective semi-qualitative observational trial

David Häske1, Stefan K Beckers23, Marzellus Hofmann4, Christoph G Wölfl5, Bernhard Gliwitzky6, Paul Grützner5, Ulrich Stöckle7 and Matthias Münzberg5*

Author Affiliations

1 Faculty of Medicine, Eberhard Karls University Tuebingen, 72076 Tuebingen, Germany

2 Department of Anaesthesiology, University Hospital RWTH Aachen, 52057 Aachen, Germany

3 Emergency Medical Service, Fire Department, City of Aachen, 52057 Aachen, Germany

4 Faculty of Health, University of Witten/Herdecke, 58448 Witten, Germany

5 Department of Trauma and Orthopedic Surgery, BG Hospital Ludwigshafen, 67071 Ludwigshafen, Germany

6 PHTLS Germany, DBRD-Akademie GmbH, 76877 Offenbach/Queich, Germany

7 Department of Traumatology and Reconstructive Surgery, Berufsgenossenschaftliche Unfallklinik Tuebingen, University Hospital, Eberhard Karls University Tuebingen, 72076 Tuebingen, Germany

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BMC Medical Education 2014, 14:32  doi:10.1186/1472-6920-14-32

Published: 15 February 2014



Accidents are the leading cause of death in adults prior to middle age. The care of severely injured patients is an interdisciplinary challenge. Limited evidence is available concerning pre-hospital trauma care training programs and the advantage of such programs for trauma patients. The effect on trauma care procedures or on the safety of emergency crews on the scene is limited; however, there is a high level of experience and expert opinion.


I – Video-recorded case studies are the basis of an assessment tool and checklist being developed to verify the results of programs to train participants in the care of seriously injured patients, also known as “objective structured clinical examination” (OSCE). The timing, completeness and quality of the individual measures are assessed using appropriate scales. The evaluation of team communication and interaction will be analyzed with qualitative methods and quantified and verified by existing instruments (e.g. the Clinical Team Scale). The developed assessment tool is validated by several experts in the fields of trauma care, trauma research and medical education. II a) In a German emergency medical service, the subjective assessment of paramedics of their pre-hospital care of trauma patients is evaluated at three time points, namely before, immediately after and one year after training. b) The effect of a standardized course concept on the quality of documentation in actual field operations is determined based on three items relevant to patient safety before and after the course. c) The assessment tool will be used to assess the effect of a standardized course concept on procedures and team communication in pre-hospital trauma care using scenario-based case studies.


This study explores the effect of training on paramedics. After successful study completion, further multicenter studies are conceivable, which would evaluate emergency-physician staffed teams. The influence on the patients and prehospital measures should be assessed based on a retrospective analysis of the emergency room data.

Trials registration

German Clinical Trials Register, ID DRKS00004713.

Paramedic; Pre-hospital; Trauma; Training; PHTLS; Medical education