Pre-Hospital Care

A System of Emergency Care Beginning with 9-1-1

When a medical emergency occurs, easy access to the emergency medical services system is paramount to the success of the system. Residents in McDonough County can quickly access McDonough District Hospital’s Ambulance Service by dialing 9-1-1. A dispatcher trained in answering calls for medical emergencies will take your call. In turn, the dispatcher will dispatch the hospital’s ambulance service in addition to necessary police, fire and rescue personnel.

When calling 9-1-1, remember to speak calmly and clearly. Be prepared to give your name and address, location of victim, and nature of the problem. Don’t hang up until the dispatcher has received all necessary information. Help will be on its way.

Skilled Emergency Medical Technicians and First-Responders Provide Initial Care

McDonough District Hospital and residents of the region are fortunate to have numerous volunteers who serve their local communities as emergency medical technicians (EMT’s) and first-responders. These volunteers are frequently the first to arrive at the scene of an accident or medical emergency and render assistance. In addition to their training in basic life support procedures, many have additional training in extrication and rescue techniques.

As a state-approved resource hospital, McDonough District Hospital is proud to assume responsibility for the clinical aspects, operations and educational programs provided to these volunteers. Since these volunteers are generally the first to arrive at the scene, MDH will continue to work with these agencies to ensure the highest level of care is provided efficiently and effectively to the patient. Advanced training programs that have been provided to many of our volunteer services include: use of a semi-automatic defibrillator to revive victims of sudden cardiac arrest, use of aerosolized breathing treatments for patients experiencing difficulty breathing, use of Epi-pens for rapid treatment of severe allergic reactions, as well as other advanced skills.

Paramedics Provide Advanced Life Support

McDonough District Hospital provides the only medical transport service in McDonough County. With our Emergency room-based ambulance service, EMT’s and paramedics trained in advanced life-support skills respond to all 9-1-1 medical emergency calls in the county. When responding to these calls, our EMT’s and paramedics maintain close radio contact with on-scene EMT’s and rescue personnel in order to prepare for necessary treatment.

Once at the scene, MDH’s paramedics supplement the care provided by the volunteer EMT personnel and function as an extension of the Emergency Room physician. The paramedics provide advanced care including defibrillation/cardioversion, intravenous access, administration of emergency medications, tracheal intubation, and use of 12-lead electrocardiograms to rapidly identify victims of a heart attack. All MDH paramedics have attended additional courses in the area of Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS) and Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS).

Helicopter Service

On occasion, a patient may suffer injuries from an accident that requires intensive trauma service provided by our regional trauma center. When this occurs, our paramedical staff and Emergency Room physician may call upon a medical helicopter to provide on-scene response and rapid transport for the victim to this regional center. McDonough District maintains a close working relationship with the appropriate flight services to ensure this service is available.