When a person refers to prehospital Emergency Medical Services (EMS), he or she are talking about a team of people who are highly skilled and will respond outside of the hospital in an ambulance, rescue squad, police car, or fire engine. In fact, it is known in the United States and some other countries that these emergency service personnel save lives on a regular basis every day. Moreover, emergency services first started in the military when all the Government Issues (G.I.) had to be examined by medical personnel, and ambulances transported them from aid stations to battlefield treatment areas.
By 1865, Cincinnati incorporated the first transporting agency, and New York followed them with that same style around 1969 or 1970. From that point, all the states chimed in as the system continued to advance in equipment and train personnel to be efficient and handle any type of trauma or medical emergency that emerges. Since the system which takes care of the public is improving each year, it makes sense that the public should improve at the same time.
The public does not have to take an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT), or paramedic course but simply learn the basics of saving a life. The first step is to recognize when an emergency occurs. Some people may ask “what is an emergency?” Well, the answer is simple, and it is not just because somebody screamed; one must investigate the level of severity that this person is suffering. After all, the scream may be coming from the local fairgrounds from people enjoying thrill rides.
The basic way of handling emergencies is to simply take a Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) course and a first aid course. By taking these courses, one can understand and learn how to handle emergencies such as broken bones, sprains, how to apply splints, and recognize symptoms that will take a person’s life, such as a heart attack to cardiac arrest and a stroke to paralysis which both leads to death.
One of the most feared ailments in every country and around the world is a heart attack that leads to cardiac arrests. Of course, there are other ailments such as blunt and penetrating trauma, but most of the time we can see this coming. However, a heart attack which is described as chest pain, shortness of breath, shoulder pain, jaw pain, upper abdominal pain, indigestion, or even upper or mid back pain can lead to cardiac arrest if not corrected. Therefore, when someone have complaints like these regardless of whether you think it is indigestion or not, the EMS system must be activated because the quicker the treatment begins, the greater the prognosis.
One of the improvements from the EMS side and business side which pertains to educational institutions, sports facilities, airports and other public areas where people gather is to have an AED within reach of anyone who goes down from cardiac arrest. The AED delivers an electrical shock that encourages the heart to beat from a lethal rhythm to a normal rhythm. It doesn’t happen every time, but the AED have saved countless lives when used without delay. However, the AED’s are not situated in the homes of families.
Since the system is moving forward by educating and training emergency service personnel, why not go a bit further and have AED’s within the home. When people take a CPR course, he and she learn how to use an AED. Cardiac arrest can occur with anybody, including children and babies and using an AED is the difference between life and death. When a person purchases an AED, the cost varies, and it can be expensive, but it also can be affordable because you don’t need a super advanced AED to save someone’s life. Grab it, open the box and turn it on. Then you apply the patches as directed and plug-in a connector and follow the instructions, and you are on your way to bringing someone who is in cardiac arrest back to life. You must still activate the EMS system by dialing 911 and getting help on the way.
Can you imagine the number of lives that will be saved each day because family members own an AED where it is positioned in a strategic spot on the wall where everybody can see it and made accessible without delay? In my opinion, the number of people going home after suffering a cardiac arrest at home and after a family member has started CPR and used an AED will increase at a phenomenal rate.
The human body is fragile and subject to any type of trauma or medical condition that occurs inside the body or outside on our skin. Any number of reasons can put us in cardiac arrest, respiratory arrest, or stroke to where we may not ever be the same or make it out of the hospital alive. AED’s in the home will save lives because at the most; EMS should arrive in less than 11 minutes and sometimes greater than six minutes. Even more, if you are in a rule location, EMS may take even longer to get to you.
In the end, if the heart is not beating for greater than six minutes, irreversible brain damage occurs even if you happen to get the heart beating again and you are beyond that six minutes. So, take a step forward beyond learning CPR and get an AED and put it in your home in this country or even around the world and watch the results. Keep the AED high enough and away from small children and get the kind of AED that has an alarm on it when the container is opened. It may not often happen but watch people wake up because of your early intervention with an AED combined with CPR. You will be amazed!