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World Emergency Medicine Day: A forgotten specialty?

  • Emergency Medicine is one of the 27 specialties available at the ENARM.
  • It is responsible for treating a wide variety of diseases such as cardiorespiratory arrest, cerebral vascular accidents, polytrauma, acute coronary syndromes and sepsis.
  • An efficient Medical Emergency System not only benefits patients but also reduces hospital expenses.

Within the field of health, teamwork is necessary to achieve better results. But while some specialties are well recognized, there are also others that do not receive adequate attention. Within this second category is the Emergency Medicinea specialty of great importance.

All this acquires relevance because every May 27 marks the World Emergency and Emergency Medicine Day. The goal is to raise awareness of the need and importance of having trained emergency systems. Doing so can also improve patients’ health and quality of life, while reducing hospital costs.

What does this specialty do?

The efficiency and quality of emergency medical care is an essential factor to treat time-dependent pathologies. In this category are those in which the delay in diagnosis or treatment negatively influences the prognosis of the disease. While its morbidity is directly related to the time of initiation of care/therapy.

Some examples of this type of disease where the speed of treatment influences its prognosis are cardiorespiratory arrest, cerebral vascular accidents, polytrauma, acute coronary syndromes and sepsis. In fact, heart disease accounts for 16% of disease deaths globally. While up to 15% of medical emergencies are neurological, with headaches, epilepsies and cerebral infarction being one of the most common alterations.

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For example, in the case of cerebral infarction, it is considered that attention within the first 4.5 hours is essential to administer the treatment effectively and to have a successful recovery. This is due to during cerebral vascular disease approximately 1.9 million neurons die per minutewhich can cause important consequences and even death.

Currently, it is considered an indicator of social development to have an efficient Medical Emergency System, which is capable of providing pre-hospital quality care in the shortest possible time. It must also be consistent with the medical and technological advances in the region. That said, since Mexico is considered a developing country, it needs quality emergency medical care to reduce the burden of disease and protect the population from health emergencies where the health system is overwhelmed.

However, initial care for critical patients is often hampered by various factors such as saturation of services, long waiting times and lack of specialized personnel.

According to a study conducted by the Journal of the Canadian Medical Association, if 20% of cases requiring urgent care are not treated on time, 410 deaths may be attributable to surgical delays each year.

In this sense, the role of emergency health professionals is key for the population. They are in charge of assessing, detecting and treating the pathology in time. Its diagnosis must be based on adequate medical triage, in which clinical risk management is evaluated in order to optimally manage patient demand, assigning them a priority level in order to assist the most urgent first.

“Emergency is a gateway for the entire population, so on this day we value the emergency care service and promote the need to have a structured, trained and homogeneous system that always looks out for the safety of patients,” said Dr. Luis Daniel Sánchez Arreola, president of the Mexican Society of Emergency Medicine.

About the Mexican Society of Emergency Medicine

The Mexican Society of Emergency Medicine (SMME) is a civil association established in 1989. It was born for academic, scientific, cultural and social responsibility purposes. It is made up of professionals in emergency medicine, as well as pre-hospital and nursing staff.

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Its main objectives are the continuous medical updating of its members and to favor and promote scientific research in the area of ​​emergency medicine, as well as the dissemination of informative and educational content for civil society.

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