Introduction: Prehospital Emergency Medical Care (EMC) is a critical service in disaster management. The aim of this study was to explore the challenges of prehospital Emergency Medical Services (EMS) during disaster response in Iran.
Methods: A qualitative study was conducted from April 2015 to March 2017. Data were collected through in-depth, semi-structured interviews with 23 experienced individuals in the field of disaster that were selected using purposeful sampling. Data were analyzed using content analysis approach.
Results: Fifteen sub-themes and the following six themes emerged in the analysis: challenges related to people, challenges related to infrastructure, challenges related to information management systems, challenges related to staff, challenges related to managerial issues and challenges related to medical care.
Conclusions: Iran’s prehospital EMS has been chaotic in past disasters. Improvement of this process needs infrastructure reform, planning, staff training and public education.
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