Friday, October 30, 2009

Some More on the History of Emergency Medical Services

While we are on the subject of the history of EMS, I want to give you an opportunity to read the landmark report from 1965. This report, Accidental Death and Disability: The Neglected Disease of Modern Society, provoked the deliberate planning and helped put in place the structure that has given rise to our modern emergency medicine, both outside and in the hospital. Everything that has happened since goes back to this report. It's hard to conceive of it, emergency transport being done by funeral homes in hearses and police departments in paddy wagons--because these were the only vehicles that could accommodate a recumbent patient. Care along the way was nonexistent. No board certified ER doctors, no surgeons specializing in trauma, no research into ways to improve survival of cardiac arrest or severe trauma. While EMS is not perfect, and is struggling with issues of professionalism and leadership, it's a far cry from these bad old days.

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