Communication is key, especially in medical emergencies, but when a patient has a disability affecting their speech or can't communicate because of a sudden medical crisis, first responders have trouble finding out the best way to help the patient in need.
The Peoria Area Speech-Language Hearing Association, or PASHA for short, is partnering with Advanced Medical Transport and the Peoria Area EMS to create more than 200 Augmentative and Alternative Communication Boards for emergency responders.
Matthew Jackson is the medical director for the Peoria Area EMS with OSF Healthcare. Jackson said it is vital that first responders can piece together what patients are experiencing when an ambulance arrives.
Without proper communication, Jackson said first responders are left guessing what is wrong, and he said this can lead to mistreatment, a delay in treatment and delays in the emergency room.