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The paramedics are here! What now?

BY Relay EMS

When a medical emergency strikes, most of us might experience it as one of the scariest moments of our lives. Whether it’s you or a loved one, it’s important to stay calm and think logically during a time of crisis.

Here are a few tips about what to expect when paramedics arrive on the scene and the basic procedures:

Cardiac Monitoring

Heart conditions make up a high percentage of emergencies, so heart monitoring is extremely important. People often don’t understand what’s going on when paramedics are merely performing routine monitoring procedures. Cardiac monitors are hooked up to the victim and provide information, including the heart beats and the speed of beats. Any unusual beating will be immediately spotted. ECG monitors can also be used, which provide a 3D image of the heart. The paramedics will place 12 small white dots upon the body of the patient; the image will then be sent to the emergency room where doctors are able to diagnose the issue immediately.


At any time a potential breathing issue is suspected, oxygen can be used immediately. It’s not necessarily a critical situation. Oxygen can be used for cases such as bad asthma attacks, broken ribs, and collapsed lungs – all in an attempt to help the patient breath comfortably. Oxygen is usually sent though a mask, normally in litres per minute. A tool called the “pulse oximeter” is also commonly used to tell the paramedics about the oxygen count within the red blood cells.


Although stretchers might look needless to the casual observer in some circumstances, remember there are potential threats that paramedics need to take into account. The most utilised stretcher has wheels that fold up, making loading and unloading from the scene (as well as the hospital) very easy. Patients can lie completely flat or can sit at an angle. Boards are often used to immobilise patients. This prevents potential spinal injuries that movement can cause.

Arrival Preparation

Preparing for the arrival of paramedics requires very little effort and allows the paramedics to operate quickly and efficiently.

Start by ensuring that all cars are removed from the scene; if you are in a home, move all cars away from the driveway to allow room for the ambulance. At night time, turn on all lights both inside and outside to make sure the ambulance driver can spot the scene of the emergency. You can further help the situation by leaving the nearest door open and clearing a path to the patient. Also, secure pets so that they do not interfere with the paramedics upon arrival.

 April 25, 2017
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