Neely et al listed field criteria for the dispatch of emergency medical services (EMS) personnel. The authors are from Oregon Health Sciences University in Portland.


Criteria for EMS dispatch:

(1) respiratory distress with any of the following: cyanosis, use of accessory muscles, documented dyspnea, oxygen saturation < 92%

(2) abnormal vital signs with any of the following: systolic blood pressure < 90 mm Hg, bradycardia or tachycardia (for age), hypopnea or hyperpnea (for age)

(3) compromised airway with any of the following: stridor, subjective upper airway difficulties, abnormal respirations, documented lack of gag reflex

(4) uncontrolled bleeding with any of the following: arterial bleeding, bleeding uncontrolled by bandage, gastrointestinal bleeding, vaginal bleeding

(5) drug or chemical overdose

(6) imminent delivery

(7) falls or other trauma with neck pain, back pain, need for analgesia, or impaired ambulation

(8) deteriorating clinical status (status changed from presumed baseline)


Other conditions that may warrant EMS dispatch:

(1) suspected abuse (spouse, child, geriatric)

(2) medical condition requiring analgesia

(3) medical condition that prevents or limits ambulation

(4) medical condition that has been unattended for more than 12 hours


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