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Safety in numbers: a survey on ambulance patient compartment safety.

Proudfoot-S; Moore-P; Levine-R
JEMS 2007 Mar; 32(3):86-90
To reduce the likelihood of injury should a collision occur, providers and equipment within an ambulance should always be secured. When transporting patients (as emergency or non-emergency), EMS providers currently sit either in a side facing position (on the squad bench or CPR seat) or in a rear-facing position (in the airway seat or captain's chair). Seventy-eight percent reported using a side-facing position. Sixty-seven percent had transported two or more patients simultaneously at least once in the past 12 months. Twenty-one percent of respondents reported using seat belts in the patient compartment all or most of the time during scheduled (non-emergency) transports, whereas only 12% reported using seat belts all or most of the time during emergency transports. To evaluate the potential user acceptance of possible injury interventions, respondents were asked about probable use of safety equipment not typically available in ambulances. Fifty-five percent of the respondents said that if patient compartment restraints that allowed mobility were available, they would use them all or most of the time. However, nearly one-quarter (23%) reported they would rarely or never wear mobile restraints. Twenty-nine percent reported they would use a helmet with an integrated communications system all or most of the time, whereas 49% reported they would rarely or never use it. Additionally, 26% of respondents reported that their defibrillator, which typically weighs 11-20 lbs., was rarely or never secured during patient transport (emergency or non-emergency). Sixty three percent reported that the device was secured all or most of the time. Similarly, 9% of respondents reported that oxygen cylinders (weighing approximately 16 lbs.) were rarely or never secured; 84% reported the portable oxygen cylinder was secured all or most of the time.
Safety-measures; Safety-practices; Safety-research; Medical-equipment; Medical-personnel; Medical-rescue-services; Medical-services; Rescue-workers; Emergency-care; Emergency-responders; Occupational-accidents; Qualitative-analysis; Questionnaires; Injury-prevention; Statistical-analysis; Statistical-quality-control; Surveillance
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Journal Article; Trade
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JEMS: A Journal of Emergency Medical Services