Recently, the state of New Jersey released its first-ever public report on ambulance response times. The results were less than stellar as none of the counties reported an average response time under 10 minutes, and some had average response times over 20 minutes. While this does not necessarily indicate a lack of access to care in the state, the report has raised concerns.
The authors of the report analyzed data from more than 86,000 emergency calls in October 2017. They looked at the time it took an ambulance to arrive at the scene of an emergency and averaged the data across the county. The study only reported on the response times of vehicles defined as ambulances by the national standard. These vehicles were equipped with some, but not all, standard lifesaving tools, including Narcan and a defibrillator.
Other Emergency Services Respond More Quickly
The EMS Council of New Jersey responded to the study, saying that other types of emergency caregivers, such as EMTs, law enforcement officers, or advanced medical care providers, are often on the scene much faster than an ambulance. They estimate that an EMT or EMS-trained officer typically arrives within five minutes of a call being placed. These professionals carry first aid equipment and can administer care until the ambulance arrives to transport the patient to a medical facility.
According to the report, the counties with the longest response times were Sussex County, with an average of 24 minutes, and Warren County, which averaged just over 23 minutes. Camden County had the lowest average response time, clocking in at 10 minutes and 16 seconds. Most of the counties had an average that fell within the 12 to 16-minute range. The report also showed a large discrepancy in the number of calls for emergency medical services being placed. Essex County had the highest number of calls at 10,575, accounting for more than 12 percent of the total. Salem County had only 622 calls for emergency medical services throughout the month of October.
More Accurate Reporting Needed
The New Jersey Department of Health will continue to release monthly reports on ambulance response times. However, the department says there is room for improvement in reporting methods for emergency calls. For example, adding a note to a patient’s chart indicating what time a first responder arrived can help to provide a more accurate picture of how quickly medical services are reaching patients in need.
When a person experiences a medical emergency, every second counts. There are many factors that might prevent emergency medical services from reaching a person in a timely manner, but the fact remains that delayed treatment can have fatal consequences.
New Jersey Medical Malpractice Lawyers at Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow, LLP Advocate for Victims of Medical NegligenceIf you or a loved one has suffered harm due to delayed emergency medical care, our experienced New Jersey medical malpractice lawyers at Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow, LLP can help. We have successfully represented malpractice victims and their families in all types of medical malpractice cases. We will thoroughly review the facts of your case to determine if negligence was a factor and hold those parties accountable to obtain the compensation to which you are entitled. With offices conveniently located in Edison, Red Bank, and Toms River, New Jersey, we serve clients throughout the state. Call us today at 732-777-0100 or contact us online for a free consultation.