Third World Emergency Medical Services. Building EMS Systems in Developing Countries

Scientific Essay, 2014

7 Pages


Table of Contents

Introduction to pre-hospital systems in developing countries

Problems associated with the lack of an EMS system

The necessity of pre-hospital medicine in developing nations

Benefits of incorporating pre-hospital medicine systems in developing nations

Opposition to EMS in developing nations



Introduction to pre-hospital systems in developing countries

Emergency Medical Services have become one of the most vital components of the emergency response system as well as the emergency medical system. This hybrid system of Paramilitary operations, emergency medicine, and emergency response have been credited to saving thousands of lives since its creation in the 1970’s. As medical needs increase and out-of hospital medicine is becoming more advanced there is a significant need for intelligent, dedicated, and independent professionals. The EMT’s and Paramedics on today’s ambulances have a variety of skills and abilities most of the general population are unaware of. Today’s Paramedics undergo years of training and rigorous clinical hours.

Paramedics can do all sorts of advanced medical procedures such as; Endotracheal intubations, fluid replacement, narcotic overdose reversals, burn treatments, needle decompression, cricothyrotomy, OB and childbirth delivery, advanced cardiac interventions, and many other interventions. While pre-hospital care in the United States and Europe are significantly growing and becoming vital components in the emergency response system, other countries have no EMS systems or pre-hospital medicine at all. Developing nations or nations with little medical advancements are at significant disadvantages and will continue to see a loss of life for reasons that could easily be fixed.

As EMS has a proven record in saving lives and improving the survival rates in people across the world with various medical and trauma needs, the system and training of the crews have a proven reputation. EMS as well as advanced medical care in areas such as; Thailand, Kenya Africa, South America, and many other areas are in desperate need for EMS systems and out-of-hospital medical advancements. As medical needs continue to grow across the world, Emergency Medical Systems are at the frontlines of the fight towards a better healthcare system globally.

Problems associated with the lack of an EMS system

The lack of an EMS system is evident and has been studied by various scientist and health care providers. A recent study of Pakistan EMS systems determined “Data from Karachi, the biggest city of Pakistan show that the main causes of death in adults included circulatory disorders, injuries (road traffic crashes, burns) and complications of pregnancy. A study conducted in rural northern Pakistan found that that the reason for poor outcome in many cases of surgically treatable illness included misinterpretation of severity of symptoms by first level providers and mis-triage from the first level facility” (Junaid, 2008).

It would seem common that pre-hospital medical attention would be a necessity in a society. With automobile accidents, OB emergencies, cardiac problems, and trauma EMS is the only hope that a victim would have for survival between the accident scene and the hospital. As many of these developing nations do not have adequate hospitals, living conditions, transportation, or education standards it is very difficult to implement an EMS system into these areas. During a study of EMS systems there were four components that made the system work and at the most proficiency possible. “The fallowing components are the results of the data gained:

- Easy access to the system by persons who need help
- Rapid response by a well-equipped mobile unit with appropriately trained personnel.
- Appropriate treatment of the patient at the scene and, if necessary, en route to the hospital; and
- Timely and appropriate treatment in a hospital emergency department”

(R. Archibald, 1984). The fallowing components are the key to having a successful EMS system, unfortunately developing nations may not be able to meet and finance any of these core components.

The necessity of pre-hospital medicine in developing nations

Pre-hospital medicine and EMS systems are credited with saving lives and significantly improving the quality of the emergency response system. Modern advancements along with a society of little exercise and poor dieting increases the risk of individuals for heart failure, cardiac arrest, obesity, respiratory problems, and many others. With this increase in risk it is vital that EMS be able to handle such events. Without an effective EMS system there would be a large amount of medically and traumatic patients that would die, also those patients who had no means of rapid transport to a hospital would die. Emergency Medical Services are the division of public safety that bridge the gap between the incident and the definitive care needed for survival. In some rural areas of developing nations, when someone is hurt or needs medical attention they are often loaded onto the back of a motorcycle, in a cab, or onto a public bus to be taken to the emergency room with little to no medical care during the entire transport process.


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Third World Emergency Medical Services. Building EMS Systems in Developing Countries
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Dakota Duncan (Author), 2014, Third World Emergency Medical Services. Building EMS Systems in Developing Countries, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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