Dial, Don't Drive - 5 Reasons to Dial 9-1-1

As seen on THV 11

  1. When you dial 911 you are talking with a dispatcher who can coach you through steps you can take to help the patient until the ambulance arrives. This ranges from how to do CPR to delivering a baby.  Many lives have been saved by people who knew what to do while waiting for help.   

  2. Treatment starts when the ambulance arrives. MEMS is the exclusive EMS provider in our service area and they have an outstanding relationship with all of the hospitals in our service area including CHI St. Vincent. This relationship allows the ambulance crew to match the procedures, medicines, etc that they use in the field to what will be administered once the patient arrives at the hospital.  For cardiac patients, it is very important that the medications used in the ambulance are consistent with the medications the hospitals will use upon arrival.

  3. The ambulance is the safest means of transport.  Treatment continues while traveling. If the patient is in a car, his or her condition can worsen and what can the driver do? Also, because this is an emergency, the person driving a car may be too aggressive, take chances and risk a wreck before they get to the hospital. This happens more often than you would think.

  4. The ambulance crew knows which hospital is right for the patient. It is often not the closest hospital to the patient. For example, a hospital may not be able to perform a cardiac procedure at this time because of an equipment failure or the surgeon had to leave because of illness, etc.  The ambulance team and hospital work closely together to ensure the patient gets to the right hospital at the right time.

  5. The ambulance crew is in contact with the hospital before arrival. The Emergency Department has time to prepare and can begin treatment as soon as the patient arrives. In the case of cardiac patients, EKG information can be sent to the hospital during travel and, if necessary, the patient can bypass the Emergency Department and go straight to the cath lab. If there is a blockage, time is muscle and these few minutes of time saved can make a big difference in the patient's recovery,

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