Have you ever wondered how far we have come with EMS delivery since 1966, when the National Academy of Science white paper Accidental Death and Disability: The Neglected Disease of Modern Society was released? If you compare the state of emergency medicine in 1966 to what we have today, you...
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At the scene, the victim is loaded onto a power stretcher and into the back of the ambulance. The ambulance carries an automatic ventilator and the paramedic sets the respiratory and tidal volume rates. The victim is transported to the hospital with the cardiac cath lab and the crew does not stop at the emergency room with the patient, but rather heads directly to the cath lab. Shortly thereafter, the hospital team has the artery in the patient's heart open.
It's amazing to contrast the two different periods and see the different outcomes. I'm glad I'm here to see it.
GARY LUDWIG, MS, EMT-P, a Firehouse® contributing editor, is a deputy fire chief with the Memphis, TN, Fire Department. He is chair of the EMS Section for the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC), was appointed to the National EMS Advisory Council by the U.S. Secretary of Transportation and is a member of the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) EMS Standing Committee. Ludwig has a master's degree in business and management and is a licensed paramedic. He can be reached at www.garyludwig.com.