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SPECIALISTS SAY EMERGENCY MEDICAL SERVICES MUST BE A PRIORITY FOR THE NATION

 WASHINGTON, July 7 /PRNewswire/ -- Specialists in emergency medicine, responding to a report on emergency medical services for children issued today by the National Academy of Sciences' Institute of Medicine, warned that emergency medical services must be a priority for the nation if inadequacies in the system are to be addressed.
 "Emergency medical care is a public service like fire or police. People know it's important, but they don't think about until they need it," said John B. McCabe, M.D., president-elect of the American College of Emergency Physicians and chair of the department of emergency medicine at SUNY Health Science Center in Syracuse, N.Y.
 The need for greater federal, state and public support for emergency medical services for children was a key recommendation of the report, the result of a two-year study. The report documented inadequacies in the equipment, training and system organization needed to provide quality emergency care for the 35 million children who suffer medical emergencies each year.
 According to McCabe: "Emergency medicine is one of the most rapidly changing fields in medicine. We've built the system from the ground up in the past 25 years. Doctors and members of the public should not assume that their local emergency care system is the same as it was even 10 years ago, nor should they assume it's as good as it possibly can be."
 McCabe said that not every community or every facility within a community has the same resources. For example, 30 percent of Americans live in a community that does not have 911 service and approximately 70 percent of the EMS system is staffed by volunteers who are often underequipped and underfunded. Many communities, especially in rural areas, do not have paramedics who perform the most advanced lifesaving skills.
 ACEP believes that medical professionals and public health officials need to make emergency medical services, including public education, a priority. As a first step, ACEP recommends that parents discuss the emergency care available in their communities with their pediatrician or family doctor. For a free brochure, "What You Should Know About Emergency Care," send a self-addressed, stamped business-size envelope to: Emergency Brochure, 307 W. 36th St., Eighth Floor, New York, N.Y. 10018.
 ACEP is a national medical specialty society representing more than 16,000 physicians who specialize in emergency medicine. ACEP is dedicated to improving the quality of emergency care through continuing education, research and public education. Headquartered in Dallas, ACEP has 53 chapters representing each state, as well as the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Government Services.
 -0- 7/7/93
 /NOTE: The American College of Emergency Physicians has published minimum pediatric equipment guidelines for emergency departments and ambulances, training materials for medical professionals and public education materials on emergency care. For copies or more information, call the contact below./
 /CONTACT: Jane Howell of the American College of Emergency Physicians, 202-728-0610/


CO: American College of Emergency Physicians ST: District of Columbia IN: HEA SU:

DC-TW -- DC027 -- 9191 07/07/93 16:31 EDT
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Date:Jul 7, 1993
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