The role of the Irish Association for Emergency Medicine (IAEM) in the community
IAEM is an organisation whose members live and work throughout the country and see at first hand the various societal and medical problems manifested in Emergency Departments (EDs) in Ireland. There are over 1.2 million attendances at EDs each year and IAEM is well aware that many of these attendances could be prevented with appropriate strategies. An important strategic objective of IAEM is therefore to help prevent such attendances.
The Association is also anxious to ensure the delivery of the greatest public and community benefit from its members’ wide expertise. Many of our members have special interests that have developed during their practice of Emergency Medicine in Ireland and abroad and have developed links with other emergency services, various statutory and voluntary community groups and a variety of other agencies. In some cases, such involvement predated and possibly influenced individuals’ choice of Emergency Medicine as a career.
Attempts to prevent the incident happening in the first place are assisted by providing data about common types of emergencies; common locations of incidents and working with the Health and Safety Authority, the Road Safety Authority and other relevant groups to re-engineer contributory physical and behavioural factors. Other work has focussed on optimising the performance of the entire emergency care system once the incident has occurred, from the pre-hospital phase to rehabilitation, and our recent published work on Major Trauma Care is an example of this. At a more local level the Association’s members play a role in a variety of agencies and groups intended to benefit the health of the community at large.
Examples of such Community Links include:
Improvement of Road Safety by working with the Road Safety Authority and others
The Global Emergency Care Skills organisation
Involvement of IAEM Members in the Humanitarian response to the Haiti Earthquake
IAEM members working with sporting organisations
IAEM & Medico Cork
IAEM & motorsports safety
Emergency Aeromedical Support Service/ National Ambulance Service