This study of patient and bystander responses to medical emergencies revealed serious shortcomings in the public's ability to respond appropriately to such situations. Decision delays at least as long as ambulance response delays were found to be the result of confusion regarding the seriousness of the emergency, confusion regarding the appropriate reaction to the emergency, and a relecutance to burden the rescue service unnecessarily. A significant group of high-risk patients were identified who not only reacted slowly but who bypassed the emergency ambulance service entirely. A substantial fraction of these patients have had prior contact with the local medical care system for problems related or identical to the one causing the emergency. On an individual basis, physicians might benefit their patients by making a more conscientious effort to educate those at risk about the indications for and use of local emergency transportation. Viewing the medical care delivery system as a whole, an argument can be made for developing a telephone system providing emergency medical information easily accessible to patients who think they may be experiencing an emergency. /Author/

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • Project title: innovative Resource Planning in Urban Public Safety Systems. Sponsored by National Science Foundation, Washington, D.C.
  • Corporate Authors:

    Massachusetts Institute of Technology

    Sloan School of Management, Operations Research Center
    Cambridge, MA  United States  02139
  • Authors:
    • Mogielnicki, R P
    • Stevenson, K A
    • Willemain, T R
  • Publication Date: 1974-7

Media Info

  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 43 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00142027
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: National Safety Council Safety Research Info Serv
  • Report/Paper Numbers: TR-05-74 Final Rpt.
  • Contract Numbers: GI38004
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: May 31 1977 12:00AM