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August 18, 2010

Assessing Critical Illness During Emergency Medical Services Care

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Department of Emergency Medicine, University of Alabama at Birmingham (Dr Wang); and Department of Emergency Medicine, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (Dr Yealy).

JAMA. 2010;304(7):797-798. doi:10.1001/jama.2010.1175

Emergency medical services (EMS) and systems in the United States expanded considerably after legislation in the 1960s seeking to address the variable and often substandard out-of-hospital care of the time.13 Although the initial focus was on out-of-hospital treatment of major trauma and cardiopulmonary arrest, the movement laid the foundation for the expanded role of EMS in the current health care system. The broadened role of EMS in the contemporary care of patients who experience trauma, cardiac arrest, myocardial infarction, stroke, and shock highlights that EMS personnel are often the first to recognize and care for the sickest patients.49

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