Basic (not advanced) Life Support for 14 years, WTF?

Why, from 1983 to 1997, the city of Alameda’s emergency response teams–instead of providing Advanced Life Support (ALS) which had become the county EMS standard in 1983– provided only Basic Life Support (BLS).

Like the EMS stroke transport variance for the City of Alameda, the only reason I can see for deciding upon substandard EMS services, is to drive acute cases to the hospital. I mean, if there were no paramedics that could stabilize us in the field (then assess and transport us into the *right* hospital system for our medical event), then we HAD to be taken to the nearest facility–Alameda Hospital– for stabilization in those days…we had no choice…, right? This would have ensured 100% the transporting of acute cases to Alameda Hospital which, even by 1983 standards, was not optimized EMS practices. And the only reason to do that is to keep doctors interested and to drive revenue for both the doctors and the hospitals.

There’s no way to look at these facts and not be outraged.  But I’m game: can anyone explain the medical soundness of choosing BLS as our sole emergency medical services response capabilities for Alameda residents over ALS?


About Denise Lai

Alive. Swim (fly is the best). Walking with my dog (weims are the best). Life is good. Would prefer people understood negative externalities and prevented themselves from creating them. Feeling the love anyway. View all posts by Denise Lai

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