Salud Pública de México
versión impresa ISSN 0036-3634
PINET, Luis M. Prehospital emergency care in Mexico City: the opportunities of the healthcare system. Salud pública Méx [online]. 2005, vol.47, n.1, pp.64-71. ISSN 0036-3634.
Unintentional vehicle traffic injuries cause 1.2 million preventable deaths per year worldwide, mostly affecting the population in their productive years of life. In Mexico, unintentional vehicle traffic injuries are one of the main causes of death; in Mexico City they account for 8% of deaths. Prehospital systems are set up to provide hospital medical care to the population, by means of a complex network that includes transportation, communications, resources (material, financial and human), and public participation. These systems may be designed in a variety of ways, depending on availability, capacity and quality of resources, according to specific community needs, always abiding by laws and regulations. In Mexico, several institutions and organizations offer prehospital services without being overseen in terms of coordination, regulation and performance evaluation, despite the high rates of morbidity and mortality due to injuries and preventable conditions amenable to effective therapy during the prehospital period. Prehospital care may contribute to decrease the morbidity and mortality rates of injuries requiring prompt medical care. Emphasis is made on the importance of assessing the performance of prehospital care, as well as on identification of needs for future development.
Palabras llave : prehospital care; emergency medical services; ambulances; emergency care; Mexico.