Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Somebody Reads This Blog: Part 1

Last night I wrote about the Las Vegas Fire Dept ambulances and how they call out AMR, a private ambulance company at night so the firefighters/paramedics can get back to bed at their station.
Today, the LVRJ put out a story about AMR and the fire department and the dispatching problems.
From the LVRJ:
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.
White said Monday that in the month before the changeover, there were 29 calls to AMR where the delay was 5 minutes or longer. Since March 3, he said, there have been 199 delayed calls, and 13 were between 20 and 30 minutes.
“The patient doesn’t know there’s a delay and even the firefighters don’t know there’s a delay,” White said. “I don’t know if the delay is intentional or not.”...
White noted that when a man was fatally stabbed about 8:30 a.m. April 17 at a McDonald’s restaurant at Sahara Avenue and Rancho Drive, an AMR ambulance was close by “at one of our primary positioning locations.” The crew with that ambulance was not in a position to see what was occurring at the McDonald’s and would have had to be notified, said White.
“We were not sent on that call,” White said. “Everyone should have responded.” The man was transported to University Medical Center where he was declared dead. He had stab wounds to the throat.
The fire chief said the Fire Department was called at 8:27 a.m., dispatched at 8:30 a.m. and the crew left the restaurant at 8:36 a.m. and was at the hospital at 8:40 a.m....
On March 25, AMR’s attorney Mark Ferrario asked the city for information about each emergency medical service call by the city, including the priority, the time of initial dispatch and time of arrival, and the time the firefighters returned to service for the time period March 3 to the date of the letter.
Ferrario also asked for records that reflect instructions or directions to the City Fire Alarm Office dispatchers from March 3 into the future.
White said they’ve been told it could take up to six months to provide the records.  http://www.reviewjournal.com/news/fire-rescue/ambulance-company-manager-says-dispatch-delays-compromising-patient-safety
6 months to get computerized records?  The fire chief should be fired for that kind of response because these records can be downloaded in a day or to.
But the fact remains that firefighters ask for AMR while they are enroute to the call, thereby delaying the response by AMR.  It looks like the City of Las Vegas is trying to sabotage AMR and their response times, putting their contract in jeopardy.

1 comment:

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