Wednesday, May 22, 2013

EMS Week 2013 May 19 - 25 - The Star of Life - Part 2

Just as physicians have the caduceus, Emergency Medical Service personnel have the Star of Life.

Originally, many ambulances used a safety orange cross on a square background of reflective white to designate them as emergency units.  But then the American National Red Cross complained that it was too close to their symbol that's when the Star of Life was created.

The Star of Life was designed by Leo R. Schwartz, Chief of the EMS Branch of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

Each of the bars of the blue Star of Life represents the six system functions of emergency medical services.

The six branches of the star are symbols of the six main tasks executed by rescuers all through the emergency chain:

1.) Detection: The first rescuers on the scene, usually untrained civilians or those involved in the incident, observe the scene, understand the problem, identify the dangers to themselves and the others, and take appropriate measures to ensure their safety on the scene (environmental, electricity, chemicals, radiation, etc.).

2.) Reporting: The call for professional help is made and dispatch is connected with the victims, providing emergency medical dispatch.

3.) Response: The first rescuers provide first aid and immediate care to the extent of their capabilities.

4.) On scene care: The EMS personnel arrive and provide immediate care to the extent of their capabilities on-scene.

5.) Care in Transit: The EMS personnel proceed to transfer the patient to a hospital via an ambulance or helicopter for specialized care. They provide medical care during the transportation.

6.) Transfer to Definitive care: Appropriate specialized care is provided at the hospital.

The snake emblem is the Rod of Asclepius, widely used as the symbol of medical care worldwide. There are several theories as to its development, and it is named for the Greek mythology figure Asclepius, who was said to have possessed healing power.

References: Wikipedia,

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