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Most people lead pretty calm lives. But we cannot predict when and how hard an acute illness or trauma might ruin it. If something bad happens, you must have the tools to get help within the shortest time. Timely assistance minimizes negative consequences and saves health.
Fortunately, emergency medical services (EMS) are always by your side whenever there's an urge to treat patients with severe health issues.
Today we want to broaden your perspective of emergency care solutions. Read this article to find out:
Emergency care services definition
What life-threatening conditions require immediate help from emergency care specialists?
What do EMS systems imply, and what are the duties of EMS workers?
How can medical alert systems ensure prompt response to medical emergencies and help supervise recovery?
The core difference between emergency care and regular medical assistance is that in an emergency, a patient struggles with sudden and intense symptoms. They can manifest as severe pains and/or obstruction of bodily functions. Without an immediate response, people with such symptoms can die or get incapacitated.
Therefore, emergency care is a form of management for acute illnesses that encompasses treatment practices, specialized facilities, equipment, and personnel providing timely assistance.
American College of Emergency Physicians outlines that emergency services may be necessary in case of:
Accidental injuries like burns, inhalation of toxic fumes and smoke, poisoning
Mechanical traumas followed with extensive lacerations, abdomen, and chest penetrating wounds, bone fractures
Obstructed or suddenly stopped breathing
Fainting, unexplained dizziness, and weakness
Sudden severe pains
Heart attacks and strokes
On top of that, you need to be super careful about the sudden onset of pains or acute discomfort during pregnancy or chronic diseases. To learn more about practical ways to help you or your loved ones to keep the chronic symptoms under control, check our blog post on chronic disease management.
When a health emergency occurs, ambulance services and medical technicians (paramedics) are first to take action. As they engage with patients, their primary objectives are:
Assessing medical conditions on site
Providing first aid
Pre-determining the course of treatment. Ambulance services report to physicians about their observations and measures taken to mitigate acute symptoms.
Transporting patients to the emergency department of a healthcare facility.
Besides the initial response to urgent cases, emergency medical services include follow-up treatment and health monitoring. This way, physicians ensure that patients have fully or near-fully recovered and can return to normal lives.
The process of emergency medical care during the hospital stay has five stages, including:
Firstly, EMS providers prioritize the order in which recently arrived patients will receive treatment. This is when the conclusion based on the paramedics' report comes in handy. Additionally, registered nurses and emergency medical technicians may examine you during the wait and run quick procedures and tests. Consequently, you might get a higher priority in a queue and save some precious time.
Only one attendant might accompany you in a triage area.
You must notify a triage managing nurse in case of any worsening in your well-being.
Emergency care services workers will file a patient record. Be honest and warn them about your health concerns (diabetes, allergies, chronic diseases). The crucial thing about registration is that patients need to provide the medical staff with consent for treatment.
If a person is unconscious, EMS providers cannot obtain informed consent. They must evaluate imminent harm for failure to treat the patient. If it's higher than any possible harm from treatment, they should act without delay.
Emergency physicians are the ones to determine a treatment course and manage inpatient medical care. They may ask for additional examinations (X-ray, blood, and urine samples) and prescribe medications according to the results.
The critical thing about emergency physicians' competencies is that although they don't perform surgery, they may do some invasive procedures (thoracotomy, setting of intravenous lines, and intubation). They also carry out resuscitation and stabilization.
Repeated patient condition assessment relies on each new series of tests. It makes treatment decisions data-driven and more effective. Additionally, EMS physicians inquire about your feelings to get fresh insights on the treatment progress. Based on that, emergency center staff can conclude whether you need extended hospital care, prescribed outpatient services, or can go home for further recovery.
Following home-care instructions is essential to get you back on your feet. Once you're about to return home, don't forget to clarify all the instructions that seem unclear with doctors and nurses.
Prehospital and hospital care are only a small segment of EMS functions related to handling patients' needs. In a broader sense, emergency medicine cooperates with other emergency services such as police and fire departments. Moreover, it intersects with the health care organizations and government bodies controlling public health and public safety. If you wish to learn more about how the entire EMS System is organized, follow ems.gov.
EMS solutions are specific approaches, services, and tools health professionals use in emergencies. They allow healthcare organizations to provide people with quality acute care, reducing the negative impact of severe traumas and health disorders.
Along with the programs and protocols established by the Emergency Medical Service Authority, EMS solutions can be enhanced by medical alert systems and mobile apps. These are particularly helpful to backup single-living persons in case of abrupt health decline. Let's discuss the main solutions in more detail below.
PTCS is instructions and practices designed to foster early trauma care. At its core, it is a system of life-saving tactics applied by ALL first responders to increase patients' chances of survival. PTCS helps to manage traumatic injuries in the field. It ensures the injured individual's condition won't deteriorate on the way to fixed healthcare facilities.
The prehospital trauma care includes:
Basic life support
Advanced cardiac life support
Pediatrics advanced life support
As PTCS are practical guidelines, they rely on the core principles of field trauma care. However, they account for the available resources and specifics of the emergency cases for particular areas. Consequently, they get modified to suit the most frequent occasions requiring EMS prehospital care.
Skilled nursing facilities (SFF) are rehabilitative centers. Unlike nursery homes that accommodate people for a permanent residence with 24/7 care, these provide temporary follow-up treatment after emergency rooms. SFFs are mainly suited to get back on foot patients that underwent serious invasive treatment (spinal cord surgery, knee joint replacement) or need to recover after a stroke, heart attack, etc.
Physicians supervise the recovery process. As a part of the rehabilitation course, they can prescribe:
Basically, at SFF, patients get qualitative and thorough transitional care. Thanks to it, they regain their normal capabilities to get by on their own in regular life.
You're free to choose between in-home and mobile medical alert systems. Mobile kits typically consist of a wearable device and an app. You can also use an app only, connecting it to your smartphone tracking features like a motion sensor and GPS.
Mobile solutions are usually more cost-effective as they don't require installation. Additionally, they keep track of measurements even while you're away from home, whereas in-home products are limited to the base unit connection range.
However, the home-installed kit might be a better option if the user isn't that good with gadgets. Also, the functionality of a health monitoring set is a bit more advanced: you can integrate them with smoke and environmental sensors. We've recently reviewed in detail the costs and features of unmonitored and monitored systems; you may check them out to make a better judgment.
The key features provided by medical alert systems and apps are:
Constant monitoring of patients with poor health conditions or disabilities for caregivers
Detect abnormal heart rate
Health functions tracking (sleep, heartbeat, blood saturation)
Ability to send emergency notifications straight from a mobile phone (both automatically or manually)
Direct calls to monitoring centers in case of emergency.
Although health-related issues are hard to predict, you can always double your personal safety. AllsWell Alert app lets you get an immediate emergency notification from your loved ones once they feel unwell or ask them to come when you need EMS help.
Whenever there's a matter of medical emergency, you can rely on AllsWell's:
In-app panic button. Tap it once to start automated SOS texting to your designated emergency contacts.
SOS messages with GPS location. The background location tracking will direct your responders to your exact location.
Inactivity monitoring. Your contacts will get notified even if you cannot take the phone but have been inactive for too long.