The Challenge of Patients with Multiple Chemical Sensitivities (MCS)

by Ann McCampbell, MD

Published in Focus on Emergency Medical Services, newsletter of the New Mexico Department of Health, Emergency Medical Services Bureau, 1996.

Plus editorial “Scared to Death of Having to Call 911” by Barak Wolff, Chief, NM Emergency Medical Services. 

“Like all people, those with MCS occasionally find the need to access emergency care, perhaps at even a greater rate than others because of their precarious health.  But many with MCS have a deep fear of calling for help.  Probably the biggest reason for not calling for help is the fear of having a serious, even life-threatening, reaction to an administered drug.  They also do not want to worsen their condition by being exposed to ambulance exhaust (especially diesel), perfume, cologne, scented laundry products and cigarette smoke residue emanating from the EMTs, and various emergency equipment such as plastic oxygen masks, intravenous fluids in plastic bags and latex gloves.  People with MCS also worry about being transported to a hospital against their will.”


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