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Speed Is Of The Essence In An Emergency

Seat belts, airbags, lane departure warnings, emergency braking, and other safety features are all designed to keep people as safe as possible during a crash. While these safety features have undoubtedly lowered the incidence of fatal accidents and injuries, it turns out there’s an even more important factor in whether or not a crash will be fatal. That factor is how quickly it takes emergency crews, such as EMTs and paramedics to arrive to render aid. US News reports on the story.

A new study reveals the time it takes for emergency medical help to arrive at the scene of an accident plays a critical role in survival.

Researchers who reviewed collisions in the United States between 2013 and 2015 said 14% of fatalities in urban areas can be blamed on slower-than-normal response times. In rural areas, that number is 10%.

The study was published on February 6th in the journal JAMA Surgery.

The researchers came to the conclusion that in rural areas, a “poor response time” was 10 minutes or more. In urban areas, that time was 7 minutes or longer.

It is suspected that traffic likely plays a role in response time in cities and suburbs. Longer distances can affect outcomes in rural areas. Rural areas often utilize voluntary response teams, which can take time to get together.

One criticism of the study is that it did not take into consideration the differences in EMS systems, which can vary widely from jurisdiction to jurisdiction.

Another factor on outcome was whether or not there was a trauma center nearby. Better outcomes were often seen when the patients had access to a level 1 trauma center.

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