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posted by LaminatorX on Tuesday November 25 2014, @06:03AM   Printer-friendly
from the reach-exceeding-grasp dept.

Jason Kane reports at PBS that emergency treatments delivered in ambulances that offer “Advanced Life Support” for cardiac arrest may be linked to more death, comas and brain damage than those providing “Basic Life Support.” "They’re taking a lot of time in the field to perform interventions that don’t seem to be as effective in that environment,” says Prachi Sanghavi. “Of course, these are treatments we know are good in the emergency room, but they’ve been pushed into the field without really being tested and the field is a much different environment.” The study suggests that high-tech equipment and sophisticated treatment techniques may distract from what’s most important during cardiac arrest — transporting a critically ill patient to the hospital quickly.

Basic Life Support (BLS) ambulances stick to simpler techniques, like chest compressions, basic defibrillation and hand-pumped ventilation bags to assist with breathing with more emphasis placed on getting the patient to the hospital as soon as possible. Survival rates for out-of-hospital cardiac arrest patients are extremely low regardless of the ambulance type with roughly 90 percent of the 380,000 patients who experience cardiac arrest outside of a hospital each year not surviving to hospital discharge. But researchers found that 90 days after hospitalization, patients treated in BLS ambulances were 50 percent more likely to survive than their counterparts treated with ALS. Not everyone is convinced of the conclusions. “They’ve done as much as they possibly can with the existing data but I’m not sure that I’m convinced they have solved all of the selection biases,” says Judith R. Lave. “I would say that it should be taken as more of an indication that there may be some very significant problems here.”

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  • (Score: 2) by aristarchus on Tuesday November 25 2014, @06:17AM

    by aristarchus (2645) on Tuesday November 25 2014, @06:17AM (#119712) Journal

    Please wait until your arrival at a massively funded medical facility, to be declared dead. I am not sure what the FA is saying. Should I call an ambulance, or just walk to the Hospital? What's with all these f-ing zombies? I feel better! I think I take a walk! ( second voice) "You're not fooling anyone, you know."_) Thump.

  • (Score: -1, Offtopic) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 25 2014, @08:32AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 25 2014, @08:32AM (#119728)

    Requiem for the street of West Florissant in Ferguson Missouri.
    RIP. Bravely stood and tried to serve the community around.
    Now gone. []

  • (Score: 5, Informative) by Runaway1956 on Tuesday November 25 2014, @09:32AM

    by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday November 25 2014, @09:32AM (#119735) Homepage Journal

    When I was registered as an EMT in 1980, the mantra was "stabilize and transport". I have never actually worked in EMS, but it is pretty obvious that the mantra isn't hammered home like it was then.

    Generally, if there is a medical emergency, I do what I am capable of doing with limited supplies and no equipment, then load the patient in the car, and cut a path to the hospital. I've witnessed ambulance crews working on patients for an hour and more, wasting time that could be better used at the hospital.

    Face it - there are no surgeons aboard an ambulance. There are no medical doctors. There aren't even any physician's assistants or nurses.

    Worse - EMS personnel seem to be drilled in methods of avoiding any liability for their action. Seriously, overhearing some conversations, you can believe that they spend more time in "continuing education" learning about the law and liability, than they spend learning how to save lives.

    Technology is great and all, but tech means nothing if you're not qualified to use it.

    Don’t confuse the news with the truth.