Unconsciousness (not alert condition) and cardiac arrest are closely related kind of disorders that affect the perfusion of blood in the brain leading to the victim being unresponsive to the external surroundings. Unconsciousness is rapid change of the mental state which involves almost total lack of responsiveness to the environment and people; an example is when a person is in a comatose state. Decrease in blood pressure to the brain and reduction of oxygen supply to the organ can also lead to temporary unconsciousness which is regarded as fainting. The common cause for lost of consciousness is traumatic brain injury, severe poisoning, brain hypoxia, and severe fatigue. Some of the factors that lead to these conditions are acute medical problems such as cardiac, circulatory, respiratory or neurological problems. The unconsciousness condition leads to a fall. The altered state of consciousness i.e. confusion and sleep, should not be confused with the brain medical unconsciousness. On the other hand, cardiac arrest (cardio pulmonary arrest) is the abrupt stop of normal blood circulation due to the impairment of the heart to contract effectively. The most common cause of the cardiac arrest is the heart attack where there is no blood flow to the heart muscles; this means that there is poor delivery of the oxygen to the body. The close relatedness of the cardiac arrest and unconsciousness is that when there is cardiac arrest, there is inadequacy of oxygen to the brain leading to unconsciousness. The most dangerous thing is that brain injury can occur if the individual doesn’t receive medical intervention within five minutes, when a person shows the symptoms of cardiac arrest, the activation of a rapid E.M.S is vital, the immediate intervention is the cardio-pulmonary resuscitation followed by defibrillation. The most common cause of cardiac arrest is the coronary heart disease. The usual symptoms are loss of pulse, cessation of normal breathing, loss of blood pressure.
Both problems should be treated as medical emergency; the number of call as determined by the paramedics should clearly show the predictability of the medical problems among the citizens. The medical priority dispatch system is one method that can help to determine the priority settings of a health problem. MPDS is a system that is used to draw an appropriate aid to the local medical emergencies. The MPDS characterizes an illness in a spectrum of clinical levels such as the Alpha (A), Bravo (B), Charlie(C), Delta (D), Echo (E) and Omega (O). The causes of these problems are not always apparent with the emergency medical dispatcher during an event of a call. This means that there is detailed caller interrogation and pre-arrival instructions. In a case study of data by the American emergency group showed that the distribution of cardiac arrest and unconsciousness is caused by the “long fall” fall condition. Falls are conditions that are caused by some acute medical conditions or accidents and are one of the major complaints received by the emergency response units. The emergency medical dispatcher was used to determine the cause and or the nature of the fall.
However it was a heavy challenge for the E.M.D. to determine the nature of the fall. Fall is an important condition since it also determines the kind of treatment and the urgency of the response by the emergency medical service. The MPDS characterized the cardiac arrest risks and then unconsciousness condition, the profile was that the overall patients with the unconsciousness condition which was labeled delta-level3 had the highest proportion. The unconsciousness condition was predominantly associated with the cardiac arrest. The computation of the data was done under the principle of ‘fall’ protocol. The unconsciousness condition was highly linked with the short fall i.e. less than two meters fall. Both the unconsciousness and cardiac arrest falls under the delta group of the MPDS card meaning that the category needs an advanced life support and they are a serious threat to life. Not all the patients with the unconsciousness fall conditions are referred to the hospital but the majority of the patient who are “hot transported” to the hospital are the ones with severe outcome, the falls that are as a result of acute medical conditions. Such kinds of falls that are ‘hot transported’ are not always apparent to the emergency medical dispatcher, so their data are not always obtained since there has been no interrogation during the call.
MDPS is the most convenient and effective method of providing the medical aid to a patient through prioritizing the actions that are needed to save the situation. It also prioritizes the life of the medical dispatchers or the local bystanders to ensure that they are not at any risks. The process also ensures that there are relevant instructions given to the medical dispatch. The unconsciousness and cardiac arrest almost rate the same in the MDPS card since both of them are classified as delta-3, they mean that they pose the same threat to life. Though the frequency of a person being unconscious is averagely high than having a heart attack according to the MPDS, heart attack needs an immediate intervention. It’s also highly evident that cardiac arrest can lead to the unconsciousness state, but there are also some other determining factors that lead to mental unconsciousness. The illness are almost related i.e. one can lead to the other as they share some symptoms. Both of them can be reversed within 4 to 6 minutes of attack otherwise brain damage can occur, this statement is almost biased to cardiac arrest but when a patient is in prolonged comatose brain damage can be a resultant. The acute medical conditions that cause the falls are not always known by the caller because they precede the fall. This means that the unconsciousness condition will only be determined later via detailed interrogation by the E.M.D
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Heath, A. (2005). School-Based Crisis Intervention. New York: Guilford Press.