Emergency medical alliance formed

Thursday, March 8th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

There is a new effort in the Tulsa area to prevent accidents and illnesses. KOTV's Emory Bryan says the newly formed Emergency Medical Alliance of Tulsa brings together several safety groups focusing on three major problems.

Tulsa's 911 system is based on a simple premise; people need help, and then call for rescue. In the future, the reactive system may be supplemented by a preventive system.

A group of Tulsa's public safety and health organizations are joining together to make it happen. Dr John Sacra, Medical Control Board says, "Today, ambulance-based paramedics and firefighters wait for a call that an injury or illness has occurred." But technology is making possible the forecasting of not just accidents, but illnesses as well. "Many illnesses and injuries can not only be predicted, but they can be prevented." EMSA already uses a computer system to predict the location and nature of the next call. The medical alliance wants to expand the use of technology to include tracking people with chronic health problems. The medical alliance plans an awareness campaign on strokes and heart attacks. They're two of Oklahomas's top killers because people often don't take the symptoms seriously.

Millicent Adu-H'Torah with the American Heart Association says, "Just calling 911 and going through that methodology with a person who would be able to ask you the right questions and maybe say why don't you come in, why don't we check you out and make sure nothing is wrong." But they also want to prevent car wrecks at intersections caused by people running red lights.

Tulsa Police Major Joe Perkins, "It's gotten worse in the last few years, I guess everybody's in a hurry." Car wrecks, heart attacks and strokes kill more than 6,000 Oklahomans each year, enough that a slight success in prevention could keep hundreds of people alive.