Chicago ambulances lack EKG machines

Here’s an interesting story from ABC 7 (WLS-TV) in Chicago.

“Some heart attack patients in Chicago may face an emergency situation when they are transported to the hospital in one of the city’s ambulances. The reason for that: those vehicles do not carry crucial equipment that can provide the patients with life-saving treatment.”

See the complete story (with video) HERE.

See also:

Related links from WGN-TV in Chicago

Delayed detection of heart attacks – Chicago ambulances lack equipment to detect the deadliest type of heart attacks early

Graphic: two patients, two experiences


  • TOTWTYTR says:

    I'll defer on saying that this is "Another victory for fire based EMS" and just say that towards the end of the first decade of the 21st century it's unconscionable that any ALS system in a major city does not have 12 Lead capability and at least the ability to transmit EKGs to EDs. Sub optimal doesn't even begin to describe this level of care. Amazing, simply amazing.

  • Tom B says:

    Not to mention Chicago's estimated 3% survival rate for cardiac arrest. Not a good city to have a heart attack!Tom

  • Shaggy says:

    So is it state law, as I heard in the video? If so, then it would be not just Chicago then right? Or is this another reason why fire departments should not be involved in EMS. Sorry Tom, don't take it personal. I think your a hero

  • Tom B says:

    There is a law that appears to be problematic, but I didn't sense that the EMS system in Chicago was particularly concerned about falling behind the rest of the country. As to whether or not this is evidence that fire-based EMS sucks, I'll leave that up to interpretation. Whenever I get into this debate I get my hands dirty.Tom

  • Shaggy says:

    Good answer. I don't think that debate is appropriate here. But I have to wonder if the Chicago EMS was based out of a hospital cosortium, municipal service like Pittsburgh EMS instead of the fire department who I can only suspect would rather put their money into fire suppression than the more busier EMS. I have to agree with TOTWTYTR that this is totally unconscionable. A large city like Chicago. I can only shake my head.

  • Gytha says:

    Yup, that’ll do it. You have my appecrtiaion.

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