Be prepared for ambulance wait times

From Reuters:

Bystanders should be prepared to give first aid during an emergency until responders arrive on the scene, experts say.

On average in the U.S., the length of time between a call for help and the arrival of emergency medical services is about eight minutes – but that rose to 14 minutes in rural areas (where about 10 percent of patients waited nearly 30 minutes), researchers found.

“It’s long enough that if CPR isn’t done before the ambulance gets there, it’s not going to turn out well for the patient,” said lead author Dr. Howard Mell, of CEP-America and Presence Mercy Medical Center in Aurora, Illinois.

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