Milwaukee EMTs question hospital specialization

Here's an interesting item--and possibly one with implications for other regions. It seems that Milwaukee, WI-area EMTs and fire chiefs are growing concerned over a new county plan to transport heart attack victims to specific hospitals based on their condition. Milwaukee County is proposing a new scheme under which certain hospitals would be designed as specialty centers for certain types of heart patients, including heart attack victims, revived patients and possibly stroke victims as well. Fire chiefs, however, have begun to raise a red flag, suggesting that such detailed guidelines for heart patients might create confusion in the field. Some say that they prefer the previous guidelines, which simply state that a patient should go to the closest, most appropriate facility.

Despite their concerns, however, first responders appear to be living with a similar system for other types of cases. The proposed guidelines follow an existing approach already in use in the area, under which EMTs and paramedics must transport patients with specific issues to designated hospitals. For example, paramedics currently bring trauma patients to Froedtert Hospital and burn victim's to Columbia St. Mary's.

To find out more about the proposal:
- read this Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article

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