Thursday, December 4, 2008

Another bad week for EMS news

A quick round-up of stories that show the challenges of EMS on the street.

According to the Washington Post, more trouble in a troubled city:

Man Dies at Home After Paramedics Diagnose Acid Reflux

In Albuquerque:

Ambulance worker arrested on scene

And in a bit of good news, Maryland is working to get its flight program on the right track. Most agree that the business-driven model of air medical transport seen in many areas results in unnecessary flights. (Maryland is run by the State Police) In an interesting quote from a Baltimore Sun editorial:

Data from the Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Services Systems also has shown that 43.7 percent of patients flown to trauma centers are released within 24 hours, a statistic that critics said suggested the choppers were used too often.

Here is the editorial: Support for medevacs. I look at this as a well balanced editorial. It is refreshing to see that a newspaper (The Sun) looked at the issues and was constructive rather than taking a sensationalist approach--especially in the wake of a tragic crash. Their point is correct. Give an amazing system a tune-up and keep it going.

For all of these reports remember that there are two sides to the story. This combination of stories highlights a common theme I teach: EMS is about decision making and people.

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