UCL Institute for Risk and Disaster Reduction


Myles Harris

Myles Harris photo
Supervisers: Ilan Kelman and Di Lamb (Royal Centre for Defence Medicine)
Funding: London South Bank University and Self 
Email: myles.harris.19@ucl.ac.uk

Prolonged field care theory: prehospital health for disaster risk reduction in remote environments and outer space

Providing healthcare to people in remote environments is exceptionally challenging. Access to substantial healthcare services and resources is limited due to the dynamic nature and inaccessibility of remote environment geography. Consequently, people are required to be self-sufficient in meeting healthcare needs until they have access to a hospital or recover. Therefore, minor injuries and illness in remote environments require prolonged, prehospital care in the field.

Training for prehospital healthcare concentrates on emergency medical interventions. The majority of literature that informs this training similarly focuses on acute care. However, there are many documented cases of health disasters in remote environments that cause minor injury and, or illness that require prolonged field care (PFC). PFC, therefore, already takes place in practice but no valid and reliable theory exists to inform training or clinical decision making. As a result, patients in remote environments are exposed to PFC practice without an evidence-base, thus open to interpretation and human error. This is a disaster hazard that increases the risk of people in a remote environment with minor injury and illness deteriorating into a life-threatening condition.

This research is a common thread that brings together the disciplines of remote and rural health, humanitarian healthcare, space medicine, medical anthropology and the disaster sciences. The aim of this research is to make an original contribution to PFC theory, knowledge and evidence to inform PFC training and clinical decision making for people in remote environments and the remotest environment of outer space.


Public engagement