The Evolution of EMS
Emergency Medical Services (EMS) agencies are a vital part of every community and serve a unique role in the state’s health care delivery system. EMS providers are the only segment of the health care delivery system designed to respond to the location of a patient suffering from an acute onset of illness or a traumatic injury, provide patients with initial care on scene, and provide timely access to a specialized segment of the health care system, such as a trauma hospital or stroke center.
Recent EMS advances in the fields of trauma, sepsis and cardiac/stroke events have resulted in countless saved lives. For many of these issues, every minute matters, and paramedics are prepared to provide valuable responses during initial contact and transfer to a hospital.
When symptoms of a heart attack begin to present, cardiologists recommend that a patient call 9-1-1 instead of driving to a hospital. Within many EMS agencies, paramedics have the ability to begin treatment within the field. Paramedics can assess the patient’s vital signs and heart activity and trigger the cardiac catheterization lab at the hospital. Research finds that patients who have access to an angioplasty within 90 minutes of first medical contact typically have the best outcomes.
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