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To the Editor.—
A modest amount of discussion has taken place recently in the medical and lay press concerning ambulance services and how they can be improved. A LETTER TO THE EDITOR recently published in your correspondence section proposed following the Russian lead of assigning physicians to ambulances (224:1299,1973). I wish to call to your attention the fact that many lives have been saved in numerous pilot projects throughout the United States by using advanced emergency medical technicians to deliver definitive life-saving care (intravenous fluids, defibrillation, antiarrhythmic drugs) under medical guidance provided through the use of medical command communication systems including electrocardiograph telemetry. It has been clearly shown in numerous projects from Jacksonville, Miami, Los Angeles, Columbus (Ohio), Seattle, and Portland that the maneuvers that must be done to save lives during the prehospital phases of acute critical illness and injury can be adequately accomplished by nonphysician personnel acting under
Benson DM. Ambulance Service. JAMA. 1973;225(7):750. doi:10.1001/jama.1973.03220340054031