During EMS Week, we are celebrating our partners in the field — the emergency medical technicians and paramedics.

This week is much more than paying tribute to those who serve our community. It’s a time to educate the public about the importance of the Emergency Medical Services (EMS) and emergency department relationship.

Buffalonians rely on EMS personnel to respond to the call for help and to provide quality pre-hospital care.

Emergency Care at Kenmore Mercy Hospital

Last year at Kenmore Mercy Hospital, nearly 7,000 patients arrived in the emergency room by ambulance. 149 of these patients were potential strokes and 47 of them were diagnosed as confirmed strokes.

“The first person who touches a stroke patient is a part of the health care team, and that’s the EMS provider,” said Tom Scime, Kenmore Mercy’s EMS liaison, and former EMS professional.

A stroke occurs when blood flow to the brain is cut off or reduced and can cause brain cells to die. Actions taken early in stroke situations – timely identification, transport and intervention – may mean the difference between life and death.

“The quality of care of stroke patients from initial contact with the EMS to their arrival in the Emergency Department is crucial to improving health outcomes for patients with this time-sensitive condition,” said Joy MacNeil-Ennis, the hospital’s clinical stroke advisor.

“The brain loses approximately 1.9 million brain cells a minute during a stroke,” she added. “Getting to the closest primary stroke center, like Kenmore Mercy Hospital is vital.”

EMS Professionals and Stroke Care

In addition to transporting the patient to a hospital or primary stroke center, EMS professionals triage patients. This helps the stroke team at the hospital act quickly to administer the clot-busting drug or other treatments that can save a patient’s life and improve recovery time from stroke.

Our hospitals, including Kenmore Mercy, have fostered trusted relationships with local EMS partners by establishing mutual goals. We strive to maintain an understanding of each other’s roles and the collaboration necessary for success.

Thank you to these dedicated EMS professionals for their time, compassion, and devotion to taking care of the needs of our community.