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Emergency Medical Services (EMS)

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The Emergency Medical Services (EMS; in Polish Państwowe Ratownictwo Medyczne – PRM) has been established to carry out the tasks of ensuring medical assistance to any person in a state of urgent health threat.

Urgent health threat means urgent or anticipated in short time symptoms of health deterioration which can directly cause a severe illness, body injury or life threat and which requires immediate medical emergency activities and treatment.

Urgent health threat includes:

  • Loss of consciousness,
  • Disorders of consciousness,
  • Convulsions,
  • Sudden, sharp pain in chest,
  • Arrhythmia,
  • Severe shortness of breath,
  • Sudden severe abdominal pain,
  • Persistent vomiting,
  • Rapidly progressing labour,
  • Sharp and severe allergic reactions (rash, shortness of breath) which are the result of taking medicines, animal bites or insect stings,
  • Drugs, chemicals or gases intoxication,
  • Extensive burns,
  • Heat stroke,
  • Chilling of the body,
  • Electric shock,
  • Near-drowning or drowning,
  • Aggression caused by mental illness,
  • Suicide attempt,
  • Falls,
  • Extensive wound being the result of injury,
  • Leg injuries impeding movement.

EMS consists of hospital emergency departments and emergency medical services, including Helicopter Emergency Medical Services (Polish Medical Air Rescue), where health services are provided only to persons whose life or health is seriously endangered.

Trauma centers and hospitals’ units specializing in the provision of health services cooperate closely with EMS . Also public services are established to cooperate with EMS and provide assistance to persons in a state of sudden health risks, in particular: Fire Brigade, Police, Volunteer Search and Rescue teams/organizations (specialized in mountain or water rescue) and other organizations that perform rescue operations as part of their statutory tasks. The National Emergency Medical Services is supervised by the Minister of Health. The planning, organizing, coordinating and supervising of the system at the regional level belongs to the voivodes.

Please remember if you notice a person in a state of sudden health risk or you are witness to the accident causing such a state, call the emergency number 999 or 112 immediately. Remember to answer questions of medical dispatcher in a calm way, and if necessary, follow the instructions to effectively provide first aid to the victim. Continue first aid until the arrival of ambulance.

Ministry of Health

The Ministry of Health is an office of government administration serving the Minister of Health.

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