CSL 911

Quick-thinking EMS volunteers are ready for any emergency

The Monitor, February 20, 2007

BYGLENN J.NASHENThe volunteers of Côte Saint-Luc Emergency Medical Services (EMS) are always prepared to respond rapidly when called.

Imagine the horror a CSL mother must have felt when her three-year-old son bit into a kiwi a few weeks ago and five minutes later started to gag and gasp for air as his face began to swell up. Not knowing what to do, the mother took the child to the CLSC where they immediately realized the gravity of the situation and called 9-1-1.

EMS arrived moments later to find the toddler with face swollen, puffy lips, eye and tongue. A CLSC doctor had given the child Benadryl and Epinephrine to treat the severe allergic reaction and the EMS volunteers helped stabilize him until arrival of the ambulance, 16 minutes later, for transport to hospital.

A medical emergency can happen to anyone, at anytime, anywhere. It is important to remember not to delay dialing 9-1-1 as soon as you realize you are in an emergency situation. Skilled professionals are ready to assess the situation and give you advice or send help. Luckily for this mom, the delay in going to the CLSC didn’t cause much harm but why take chances?

On the evening of Jan. 14, CSL EMS volunteers responded to a trauma call at a senior’s residence on Parkhaven. Medics Jason Genis, Carmel Grace and Jenna Berger were on-call and arrived within three minutes. They found an elderly man lying on the ground with blood soaked towels scattered around. A nurse was holding a cloth against the side of the patient’s head. The blood loss, approximately half a litre, was significant.

The man was found to be extremely confused but conscious and quite agitated. These signs are indicative of a head injury. EMS immediately stabilized his head to prevent further injury and found a five-inch, very deep laceration. Medics started the man on oxygen and controlled the bleeding. His pulse was quick and thready.

Urgences Santé arrived four to five minutes after EMS. They realized the severity as the elderly man had easily lost a litre of blood by this point. EMS and ambulance crews prepared the man for transport in a complete body Immobilization and he was transported to hospital.

The nursing staff thanked EMS volunteers for their quick response and efforts, as

they made a huge difference in controlling the bleeding and maintaining the patient’s life.

Kudos to medics Genis and Grace and trainee Berger. All volunteer their time for CSL EMS.

CSL EMS needs your help too as its future is being threatened. Get all the details at www.SaveEMS.com or by calling 514-485-6892. EMS saves lives. Help us save EMS.

• Glenn J. Nashen is the Côte Saint-Luc city councillor responsible for public safety.