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Helicopter ambulance service faces criticism in Manitoba not seen elsewhere

WINNIPEG - The helicopter ambulance service known as STARS has been lauded in Alberta for decades as an essential life-saver, but has been criticized and even grounded in Manitoba over patient care concerns. The reasons for the difference are far from clear as the non-profit agency is providing the same service in all three Prairie provinces. "The helicopter, the staff, the training, the protocol are all identical," said STARS spokesman Colin Fast.

US mudslide death toll to increase 'substantially'

Emergency managers on Thursday said they were close to announcing a "substantially" higher death toll from the monster US landslide that killed at least 16 and left 90 missing. The confirmed number of dead stands at 16 with at least eight more bodies believed located after the massive mudslide crashed onto the town of Oso in the northwestern US state of Washington. But Snohomish County District 21 Fire Chief Travis Hots said bodies were not being included in the official death toll until they had been recovered and "medical officers have done their difficult work."

Rescue workers among six dead in Latvia supermarket cave-in

Six people including two rescue workers were killed and 35 others injured on Thursday when the roof of a supermarket collapsed in a suburb of Latvia's capital Riga, emergency services confirmed. "Rescue efforts will continue through the night but it's too early to name a cause or say whether there will be more victims or survivors," emergency services spokeswoman Viktorija Sembele told AFP.

Search for survivors suspended at collapsed S.Africa mall

South African emergency workers said hope was fading Wednesday of finding survivors under a collapsed half-built mall near Durban as heavy machinery was called in to remove the rubble. "The search was called off 30 minutes ago to allow city engineers to use heavy machinery to remove concrete," Neil Powell of private emergency firm Crisis Medical said. Powell said the search could resume if signs of life were detected but that after nearly 19 hours into the search hope was fading.

Paramedics report lack of critical care training

By Kathryn Doyle NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Paramedics often have to transport patients in critical condition from one medical facility to another. In a new survey, some said they perform procedures and use tools they haven't been trained in on the way. The finding that paramedics work beyond their job descriptions was not a surprise to lead author William Raynovich.

Calif. woman's death prompts bill to end practice of companies barring staff from giving CPR

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - California lawmakers on Tuesday sent legislation to Gov. Jerry Brown that would bar employers from having policies that prohibit offering life-saving medical help in an emergency after a worker's attention-grabbing refusal to perform CPR on a resident at an independent-living facility. The bill by Assemblyman Rudy Salas, D-Bakersfield, was prompted by the February death of Lorraine Bayless, 87, at a Bakersfield retirement home.

Volunteers needed as BC Ambulance Service ensures consistent care in Stewart

STEWART, B.C. - The BC Ambulance Service says it is doing everything possible to deliver consistent service to the community of Stewart in remote northwestern B.C. Ambulance service spokesman Peter Thorpe's comments follow complaints from Stewart Mayor Galina Durant about a lack of local ambulance service in the district of 500 people from midnight Sunday until Monday afternoon, and the closest ambulance is more than three hours away.

Don't expect business as usual if Nova Scotia paramedics go on strike: employer

HALIFAX - Patients in Nova Scotia in need of an ambulance can expect interruptions if the province's 800 unionized paramedics walk out, their employer said Friday as efforts continued to avert a possible strike. Jeff Fraser, operations director at Emergency Medical Care, said non-union employees who are trained paramedics will be the only workers available in the event of a paramedic strike.

Patient takes wheel of ambulance to save driver

A late-stage cancer patient has saved the life of an ambulance driver who suffered a heart attack, by taking the wheel of his vehicle and driving him to hospital, French medical officials said. Christian Nayet, a 60-year-old cancer sufferer from the northern town of Berck-sur-mer, rescued the driver on April 11 by taking him to a hospital in Lens, hospital emergency room manager Frederic Allienne told AFP on Wednesday. Nayet told newspaper Voix du Nord the driver had suffered a heart attack while taking him to a hospital in Lille for a regular scan.
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