Emergency health care medical services play the most important role when someone is critically ill and needs urgent medical care or when a patient is located in such an area, where there is minimal health care centers and need to be transported to a hospital having all medical facilities.
Emergency medical services also known as paramedic services, works with the help of various emergency health care departments or teams such as First aid Squad, Ambulance squad, Air rescue teams and Life Squads. These teams treat the patients in their present life threatening conditions, till they are transported using ambulances and response vehicles to the point of care (preliminary medical center).
In majority of countries, these emergency medical centers have an emergency contact number or helpline number through which the patient or any person nearby the patient can reach out to the emergency medical services centers. Soon after, a team of members from the health care squad is dispatched with a control facility to deal with the situation. Moreover, in a few countries a mobile application called ‘MUrgency app’ helps connect people in emergency situations to the nearest paramedic service in a matter of seconds.
The most common situations in which one may need emergency medical care services are:
- Suspected Cardiac arrest
- Heavy blood loss
- Intense burns
- Deep injury caused due to accident or attack
- Severe allergy reaction
- Loss of consciousness
Emergency medical services can also be availed in case of water rescue caused due to heavy floods, cyclones or because of any natural calamity and other rescue operations such as search-rescue, extrication.
There are different levels of services determined by the government and the locales. The levels are: Basic life support, Critical care transport by nurses and physicians and Advanced life support.
- Basic life support: It is provided by fire fighters, police, ambulance technicians, EMT paramedic and EMD. Their role is to provide emergency cover with help of extrication equipment, transport facility, oxygen therapy, reporting medical emergencies and carry both ambulance drivers as well as attendants.
- Critical Care Transport: For both mobile critical care and air based emergency services, registered nurses are used. They may work directly under the physicians though in some countries they may practice independently. Specially trained physicians may also treat patients in acute conditions during transport both in mobile critical care and in air ambulance.
- Advanced life support: In this level, Critical care paramedic and general paramedic, Emergency care practitioner play an imperative role. These people are trained technically for critical care. They may treat patients with medicine, courses of antibiotic, correct cardiac problems, provide medication, use catheter, advanced trauma life support. Under advanced life support some paramedics are also trained to operate in wilderness, remote or rural areas. Examples include the ‘National Ski Patrol’ in the US, Wilderness Medical Society, Non-profit organization such as ‘Appalachian center for wilderness medicine’ and the ‘Wilderness EMS Institute’ and other EMS centers.