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What is Emergency Care?
Emergency Care is the delivery of time-sensitive interventions that are essential to saving lives and preventing permanent disability. It integrates health service delivery and offers cares for all diseases of people for all ages regardless of ability to pay. Emergency care responds to any and all serious medical, surgical, psychiatric, and obstetric conditions—often including injuries, infections, complications of pregnancy, strokes, and heart attacks. It is the frontline of any health system. When emergency care systems are thoughtfully designed, they reach patients at their moment of need (e.g. ambulances at the scene of a car crash), from the time that an injury or illness is first recognized until definitive care is received (e.g. in the operating room or intensive care unit).
Why is Emergency Care essential?
Each year, approximately 45 million people die in low- and middle-income countries. An estimated 54% of those deaths could be addressed by creating and strengthening emergency care systems. Yet in many places throughout the world, people do not have access to emergency care which contributes to many preventable deaths
Imagine calling for help for your loved one after a road traffic crash only to discover that there are no systems to transport her to the hospital, no professionals trained in emergency care once you arrive at the hospital, or no laws requiring healthcare workers to treat her if you can’t pay for care in advance. This is a common daily occurrence for millions of people but especially the most vulnerable in the least developed countries.
CU Global Emergency Care Initiative
The Global Emergency Care Initiative (GECI) of the University of Colorado Department of Emergency Medicine strives to sustainably improve the emergency health outcomes of communities worldwide via innovation and leadership in the areas of education, service, research, and advocacy. We align with international partners to strengthen systems of care and service delivery and provide sustainable solutions for making emergency care effective and available to all.