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Emergency medical services in Japan: An opportunity for the rational development of pre-hospital care and research

      Abstract

      Japan is at a crossroads in the development of its Emergency Medical Services (EMS). At present, Japan has an essentially pure scoop-and-run, defibrillation system. However, there is a strong movement toward expanding the scope of paramedic practice to include more complex, Advanced Life Support (ALS) and trauma protocols to its nationally standardized pre-hospital protocols. The implications of introducing complex pre-hospital protocols guided by the use of existing scientific evidence to support such action is discussed in the context of Japan’s unique opportunity to test many fundamental questions in pre-hospital medical care and the public’s understanding and acceptance of these practices. Japan, a technologically advanced country that is not encumbered by entrenched “standards of care,” has the opportunity to develop an efficient and rational EMS system.

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