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Table 1 Summary of findings in the previous reviews on effectiveness of advanced vs. basic life support.

From: Is advanced life support better than basic life support in prehospital care? A systematic review

Reference Author(s) of review, year, country description of a review contents of the review assessment of the review conclusion
5 Liberman et al. 2000, Canada non-systematic review, traumas only 15 studies from years 1983-1997; classification according to quality:
1. medium quality 5 studies favouring ALS, 1 study favouring BLS.
2.high quality: 1 favouring ALS, 1 study favouring BLS
3. very high quality: 1 favouring ALS, 6 favouring BLS
In general the quality of studies was poor, many studies quite old, the follow-up periods starting even from 1930's. 7 studies favourintg ALS,
8 studies favouring BLS.
Studies of higher quality favouring BLS.
6 Sethi et al. 2000
A systematic Cochrane-review   Only one study included No difference between ALS and BLS
7 Nicholl et al. 2003,
A systematic review on the effectiveness of helicopter services 36 original studies HEMS better than ground transportation, mortality OR = 0,86, not statistically significant.  
8 Koskinen 2005,
thesis for master's degree in health economics, contains a non-systematic review 36 original studies In general the quality of studies was poor cost-effectiveness of a helicopter service was assessed to be 5750 €/life year gained (confidence interval 2000 - 24500€)
9 Isenberg and Bissel, 2005, Canada A non-systematic review, four parts:
1. trauma
2. cardiac arrest
3. cardiac infarct
4. distubances of consciousness
20 original articles, 2 meta-analyses from years 1984-2004 1. Trauma: 14 studies, 8 favouring ALS, 6 BLS. All new studies favouring BLS
2. cardiac arrest: early resuscitation and defibrillation associated with better survival, no special effect of ALS detected.
3. Cardiac infarct: 1 study, no difference between ALS and BLS.
4. Disturbances of consciousness, 1 study, no difference between ALS and BLS.
In general results favouring BLS.
Review for paramedic-ALS only, physician-ALS excluded.
10,11 Thomas 2004, Thomas 2007 Qualitative review, renovation by a new version    No conclusion
1 Liberman 2007 Opinion-based article about trauma treatment, grounded by a non-systematic review    In general favouring BLS.