Northwest’s trauma death numbers are disgraceful

These are the current pre-hospital death rates from trauma in BC.

Dear sir,

These are the current pre-hospital death rates from trauma in BC.

Needless to say, they are not only highly disturbing, they are a disgrace.

Furthermore, these numbers only tell a small part of the story – over 10,000 British Columbians become disabled from injuries each year (this is called ‘Iceberg affect’).

We see trauma deaths but we don’t see the huge numbers of injuries – and we pay for them, each and every one of us pay, year after year, for the growing numbers of disabled persons in BC.

BC pre-hospital death rates from trauma are:

45 per cent for parts of Vancouver Island;

59 re cent for the Interior;

75 per cent across the Northern areas;

a staggering 82 per cent for BC’s Northwest; and

12 per cent for the Lower Mainland.

Now that you are aware of these outrageous statistics, write or visit your MLA to voice your concern.  That is the only way to make the government act.

Also write premier Clark and demand that she take immediate action, first by firing all at the BC Ambulance Service who knew of these outrageous statistics for the last nine years.

Then have her instruct the new management at BC Ambulance Service and the Emergency Health Services Commission to take immediate steps to create the needed additional service structure to dramatically reduce these staggering numbers so that all the regions come much closer to the Lower Mainland’s 12 per cent death rate from trauma.

By the way, these extreme death rate numbers do not include deaths from time sensitive conditions like heart attack or stroke – including those would raise the preventable death stats even higher!

We have nothing even remotely close to a world class ambulance here in BC, yet all those associated with it will have you believe differently. Well the numbers don’t lie.

Understand that there are a number of things that can be done today to dramatically lower these alarming numbers and in both a relatively quick fashion, as well in a highly cost effective way:

Create more ambulance stations in rural BC

Hire more full-time ambulance paramedics

Train the new paramedics to ALS status and upgrade the existing ALS paramedics to Critical Care status

Immediately create 11 new (additional), Franco-German model, rapid response air rescue helicopter bases at strategic locations around the province, this to achieve a 30 minutes to definitive medical intervention time interval from initial 911 call for 90 per cent of the province, 90 per cent of the time.

Current aviation technology, in conjunction with state-of-the-art GPS navigation, will allow us to achieve this high level of service to every existing rural hospital in BC on a 24/7/365 basis (and directly to accident scenes during daylight hours 7/365).

By staffing the helicopters with fully trained emergency doctors and Critical Care paramedics, as they do in Europe, dramatically shortened definitive initial patient treatment times would be realized.

BC would in no way be a pioneer of such a system: such systems have been in widespread (daily) use in Europe for more than 40 years and more than 26 years in other parts of Canada.

Germany currently operates more than 100 such helicopters throughout their country – all are operated by non-profit organizations.

As one would expect from the Germans, they have entire libraries of data on how to emulate their system (and which very clearly document its success rates).

They also have hard proof that such a system saves their society much more money than it costs, not to mention the estimated 800,000 lives it has saved there since 1970!

BC death rates are utterly unacceptable to any sane, halfway caring person that knows solutions are readily available.

FYI, there are several well proven, highly capable, highly successful air rescue organizations right here in Canada that could be invited to come to BC to provide at least part of the solution we need today!  All we need to do is ask them to come here!

It was our Liberal government that approved the $565 million dollar new roof for BC Place stadium that 85 per cent of British Columbians will never set foot in, a $600+ million dollar highway to Whistler, which 98 per cent of BC’s population will never use,  and the almost $900 million dollar Vancouver Convention Centre, a building that 99.9 per cent of British Columbians will also never set foot in.

So don’t let anyone tell you BC can’t afford to do what it takes to dramatically reduce the outrageously high pre-hospital deaths for over half of all BC families!

Go to to see what other jurisdictions are doing in this regard and how we can doing the exact same thing here in BC – within just a few months of getting the okay from Clark.

Sincerely upset and concerned,

Hans Dysarsz.


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