Yes, We Make A Difference! by ProQuest

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									                          EMS               >>>
 By GARY LUDWIG



Yes, We Make
A Difference!
EMS and Paramedics Add Tremendous Benefit to the Community

T
         hrough the years, I have sat                        lumbus Fire Department a basic life support    gist was able to interpret EKGs transmitted
         through countless ceremonies                        (BLS) system. Unfortunately, these civilians   by EMS in the field, there was an advantage
         honoring those who have saved                       had no fire or EMS background and thank-       to the patient. In that study, door-to-balloon
lives while performing EMS. Usually, the                     fully their recommendation did not fly.        times decreased from 101 minutes to 50
ceremonies center on those who have                               Now there is mounting evidence in         minutes. A study in Newark, NJ, saw door-
suffered cardiac arrest and were brought                     the form of the studies that                                       to-balloon times reduced
back from the brink of death, and then go
on to lead a normal life.
                                                             prove that EMS is valuable
                                                             in STEMIs, stroke man-
                                                                                             There is mounting                  from an average of 146
                                                                                                                                minutes to 80 minutes.
     What is really emotional is when vic-                   agement, respiratory and                                                In more aggressive
tims are reunited with their rescuers for                    trauma emergencies, and             evidence in                    and well-trained EMS
the first time. There is usually not a dry                   sudden cardiac arrest.                                             systems, paramedics who
eye in the place. I remember a ceremony                           Let’s look at STEMIs,          the form of                    do in-field interpretations
in St. Louis, where a high school-age vic-                   or ST elevated myocardial                                          of EKGs are bypassing
tim and his parents met the paramedics
for the first time. Even the mayor of St.
                                                             infarctions. A 2007 study
                                                             found that STEMIs account
                                                                                               studies proving                  the closest hospital and
                                                                                                                                taking the patient to the
Louis needed some tissues to dry his eyes.
     It continues to vex me since more and
                                                             for 4% to 5% of all chest
                                                             pain calls and a majority of
                                                                                              the value of EMS.                 closest most-appropriate
                                                                                                                                facility. In the case of STE-
more it appears that the naysayers contin-                   STEMI deaths occur within                                          MIs, it is usually a hospital
ue to advocate going back to the scoop-                      two hours. That is why there is a benchmark    that has a cardiac cath lab and can do percu-
and-run days of yesteryear because, they                     of inserting a balloon in a blocked artery     taneous coronary interventions (PCIs).
contend, providing advanced life support                     within 90 minutes.                                  In a study done in Medford, OR, pro-
(ALS) care in the field has no benefit and                        A study done in 2008 clearly demon-       tocols were created to direct all STEMI pa-
can be costly. The scoop-and-run theory                      strated benefits to patients in EMS systems    tients to a single PCI hospital. In total, 233
relied on 
								
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