I appreciate the story (May 12) of the exemplary care my dad received at Central Maine Medical Center for a heart attack, but he and the Sun Journal left out one important observation: although my brother did a great job of getting him to the emergency room quickly, my dad — and anyone experiencing chest pain that lasts longer than five minutes — really, really should have called 911.

Trained EMS responders can initiate life-saving treatment on the way to the hospital and save the ER staff a lot of time gathering medical history and initial diagnostic information.

As an EMT and CPR instructor myself, I can attest that denial and delay are statistically significant factors in the successful treatment of chest pain.

I am grateful to the Central Maine Heart and Vascular Institute and to the hospital’s emergency department that Rich Livingston is here to admit that he made the wrong call that day, but he does.

Mike Livingston, Silver Spring, Md.

EMS coordinator, Takoma Park Volunteer Fire Department

Lead instructor, Takoma Park CPR


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