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Home > Topics > EMS Management

AMR: Vegas transport changes causing long delays

Since the city fire department took over patient transports on March 3, American Medical Response has had 199 delayed calls, and 13 were between 20 and 30 minutes

By Jane Ann Morrison
Las Vegas Review-Journal

LAS VEGAS — A recent change in the way Las Vegas handles emergency medical calls is causing delays of as long as 30 minutes for American Medical Response ambulances, the company’s general manager says.

AMR General Manager Scott White said the delays put patients at risk, though city fire department officials dispute that.

The private ambulance company stopped receiving automatic notifications of emergency medical calls on March 3. Now, Las Vegas Fire Chief Willie McDonald said, city paramedics are dispatched immediately to every call while AMR is called only as needed, so there may be a delay before the ambulance company is contacted.

Read full storyAmbulance company manager says dispatch delays compromising patient safety

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Andrew Tucker Andrew Tucker Tuesday, April 29, 2014 7:08:24 PM Any claim that the delay in the ambulance arrival is compromising patient safety is essentially a claim that the proximity of the big white box on wheels is what saves patients, not medical treatment. Got a cardiac arrest? To hell with compressions, park an ambulance near him!
Peter Ruggeri Peter Ruggeri Tuesday, April 29, 2014 7:23:53 PM Unfortunately Andrew you are wrong. There are many studies that prove the earliest arrival at an ER gains the most benefit. Ever hear of door to balloon time? EMS' job is to deliver a viable patient to the ER as fast as possible. One study showed that you have a 38% better chance or surviving a cardiac arrest if you received inly BLS care in the field. The reason? BLS providers had an average scene time of 8 minutes while ALS was almost 25. BLS provided better and more CPR than ALS providers (stopping to perform other interventions). If your mother were in a car accident would you rather she wait 20 minutes on the side of the road with a non transporting medic unit that couldn't stop her internal bleeding or in an ambulance on the way to the trauma center as fast as possible? Compared to the ER paramedics even have a limited number of interventions and diagnostic tools to work with. To think someone is better off waiting on the side of the road than in a transport unit enroute is a dangerous thought that's not anywhere close to being in the best interest of the patient. From basic to Paramedic the key part of our job is to TRANSPORT a patient to the nearest emergency department without undue delay.
George Gribbin George Gribbin Tuesday, April 29, 2014 8:42:34 PM What study? Where was this study done? How many patients were included in this study? Who did the study? Was it peer reviewed? What kind of neurological outcome did these patients have? How long did they have to survive to be considered a save? How effective is CPR by a lone emt in the back of a moving ambulance?
Peter Ruggeri Peter Ruggeri Tuesday, April 29, 2014 8:54:40 PM Will locate and post in the morning. It's bookmarked on my computer at work. Regardless I don't need a study to know that the sooner any patient is delivered to a hospital the better. Any preventable delay is simply not acceptable.
BJ Newton BJ Newton Tuesday, April 29, 2014 9:01:06 PM This sounds to me to be a political battle between the FD and AMR and the only one that is loosing are the patients!!
Ray Warren Ray Warren Wednesday, April 30, 2014 6:13:34 AM Until the government starts putting 911 abuse callers in jail, this seems like a perfect fix.
Peter Ruggeri Peter Ruggeri Wednesday, April 30, 2014 12:39:15 PM OPALS is an article with a link to the study...more to follow.....
Peter Ruggeri Peter Ruggeri Wednesday, April 30, 2014 12:43:22 PM Sorry I disagree. Are you saying that getting the patient to the hospital in an expedited manner is not important? Five minutes of CPR on the side of the road is better than nothing surely.......... but shaving five minutes off a transport time can mean the difference between life and death. The reality is in all but the most serious calls. (MI, SCA, CVA, shock ) 5 minutes isn't going to kill a patient. You wont get any awards for it but you wont kill anyone. Kill someone because an ambulance was delayed and the patients family wont even need a good lawyer to fight that lawsuit.

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