Background Emergency medical service (EMS) cannot only lessen the severity of an illness but can also save lives. In this study we accessed the emergency medical services provided by trained community based volunteers in rural areas of Bangladesh. The objectives of this study were (1) To access the volunteer based emergency medical services and (2) To describe the types of emergency medical care services provided by the volunteers.
Methods In 2008, we trained community volunteers to deliver EMS within limited areas. A special emergency medical service manual was developed. We selected volunteers from the community and trained them for 3 days intensively. After training all volunteers were provided a first aid box fully equipped with medicine and materials. The first 1 to 3 months of data about medical services were collected from the volunteers.
Results A total of 136 volunteers worked and 1403 patients were provided emergency medical services. After burn injuries all patients were treated first with water, 72 patients mostly injured with cuts and falls were treated with clean water before starting other treatment. 1175 patient received an antiseptic wash among them 75% had a cut injury and 11.5% a fall injury. Among all patient 58% were provided with bandage and these patients mostly had a cut injury. The volunteers treated 8 patients with Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation. Analgesia was given mostly in cuts (60.2%), falls (15.1%) and RTI (3.5%) patients and patients with fever (5.3%). About 249 (18%) of all patients were referred for further treatment.
Conclusion Expanding emergency medical service through community volunteers will be very effective in reducing mortality, morbidity and progression of any complications after injury.
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