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October 2017

Converting Bystanders to Immediate Responders: We Need to Start in High School or Before

Author Affiliations
  • 1Center for Surgery and Public Health and Department of Surgery, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts
  • 2Deputy Editor, JAMA Surgery
  • 3Department of Surgery, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland
  • 4Department of Surgery, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston
JAMA Surg. 2017;152(10):909-910. doi:10.1001/jamasurg.2017.2231

Every minute counts in the case of an emergency, and bystanders, such as family, friends, and good samaritans, play a crucial role in increasing the likelihood of survival until professional medical care arrives. In light of the increasing rate of unfortunate events, such as 9/11, the Boston Marathon bombing, and mass shootings like at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida, there has been an increase in national policy efforts to enhance survivability from intentional mass casualty and active shooter events. A better understanding of the time it takes for emergency medical service (EMS) personnel to arrive on the scene of an emergency, as presented in the study by Mell and colleagues,1 is crucial to the development of interventions to save lives.

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