Entries in Ambulance (3)


Ambulance Diversion Found to be Linked to Heart Attack Death Rate

Photodisc(WASHINGTON) -- A new study has found that ambulance diversion is strongly linked to death rate among patients who have heart attacks.

The study was conducted by the American College of Emergency Physicians, and involved almost 14,000 elderly patients. The findings of the study, which were published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, reveal that lengthy periods of ambulance diversion are associated with higher mortality rates among patients with time-sensitive conditions such as heart attacks.

Researchers say they found that when the emergency room nearest to a patient was on diversion for 12 hours or more, patient mortality rates increased at 30 days, 90 days, nine months and one year as compared to when the nearest emergency room wasn’t on diversion.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Some Patients Getting 'Too Fat' for Ambulances?

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(LONDON) - Some ambulance services are being forced to specialize their equipment to accommodate patients who are "too fat" for regular ambulances, reports the BBC.

In the U.K., every ambulance service has had to buy new equipment ranging from wider stretchers and reinforced lifting gear to brand-new ambulances that are made to carry obese patients in an emergency. And the changes don't come cheap.

The BBC reports that so-called "bariatric ambulances" can cost around $150,000. Even additions to regular ambulances such as wider stretchers and heavy-duty stretchers can cost around $11,000.

Jo Webber, director of the Ambulance Service Network, told the BBC that ambulance services have no choice but to make the necessary changes.

"The fact is patients are getting larger and larger and ambulances need to be able to respond immediately to what could be life-threatening situations," Webber said. "Every service is having to invest money in this. It shows that some of the lifestyle changes we are seeing have a range of costs. It is not just about treating them, but the infrastructure costs as well."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Patients Getting Too Large, So Ambulances Adjust

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(BOSTON) -- As the average calorie count of American meals continue to grow, and the average American body swells as well, ambulances are starting to make similar expansions.

Boston’s Emergency Medical Services will deploy an ambulance retrofitted with a stretcher capable of lifting patients up to 850 pounds, according to The Boston Globe.

Emergency medical personnel have been familiar with heavy patients for a long time, but now a critical point has been reached. They’ve also installed a hydraulic lift on the ambulance to help lift obese patients on board. Altogether, the cost of equipping the ambulance was $12,000, the newspaper report said.

“With a 300-pound patient, it’s not too bad, or even 400 pounds. But to be honest with you, with a 500-, 600-, 700-pound patient — it’s just too much for you,’’ Jose A. Archila, a Boston EMS captain told the newspaper.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, no state had a population of obese people greater than 14 percent. The most recent numbers in 2009 show that only Colorado and the District of Columbia had a prevalence of obesity less than 20 percent.

The change in Boston may be surprising, but the numbers show its necessity.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio