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EMERGENCY MEDICAL SERVICES WORKERS

Injury and Illness Data

To collect data on nonfatal injuries and illnesses among EMS workers, NIOSH uses the occupational supplement to the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System ( NEISS-Work )—a national probability-based sample of U.S. hospital emergency departments.

  • EMS worker injuries and illnesses treated in the participating hospitals are identified from admissions information and emergency department chart review by a records abstractor in each hospital.
  • A workers' compensation claim is not required for inclusion.
  • National injury and illness estimates are calculated by summing the statistical weights assigned to each case treated in one of the NEISS-Work hospitals.

Use the following tabs to view that year's EMS worker injury and illness data:

2013

The NEISS-Work data in the tables below include all nonfatal injuries and illnesses that occurred during the performance of paid or volunteer EMS duties. “Fire fighters” were included when they were injured while performing EMS duties such as patient care, patient transport, patient rescue, or working in an ambulance.

Table 1: Among EMS workers treated in emergency departments (EDs) for an occupational injury or illness, the majority of workers were men. Among men and women, just over half of the injured/ill EMS workers were less than 35 years of age.

Table 1: Demographics of injured/ill EMS workers treated in US hospital emergency departments, 2013
  Number of injuries/illnessesa 95% confidence interval Percenta
Total 20,200 (12,200, 28,300) 100
Sex
Male 13,900 (8,200, 19,700) 69
Female 6,300 (3,600, 9,000) 31
Age group (in yrs)
<25 3,600 (1,700, 5,400) 18
25-34 7,600 (4,300, 10,900) 38
35-44 4,800 (2,800, 6,700) 24
>44 4,300 (2,300, 6,300) 21

a Numbers and percentages do not add to totals or 100 because of rounding.

Table 2: Among EMS worker injuries and illnesses, sprains and strains were the most common diagnosis. Most injuries affected the upper and lower trunk and hands and fingers. The greatest portion of injuries/illnesses involved overexertion and bodily reactions. More than half of the overexertion and bodily reaction events were specifically identified as overexertion during lifting. The second most common event related to injuries and illnesses was exposures to harmful substances such as potentially infectious materials (e.g., blood). Among all of the injuries and illnesses, the most common sources which directly produced the injury or illness involved the EMS worker themselves or another person such as a patient.

Table 2: Selected characteristics of EMS worker injuries and illnesses treated in US hospital emergency departments, 2013
  Number of injuries/illnessesa 95% confidence interval Percenta
Total 20,200 (12,200, 28,300) 100
Diagnosis
Sprains & strains 6,800 (4,200, 9,400) 34
Contusions/abrasions 2,700b (1,000, 4,300) 13
Puncture and laceration 1,900 (1,000, 2,800) 9
Body part affected
Upper trunk, inc. neck & shoulder 3,900 (2,200, 5,600) 19
Hand & finger 3,900 (1,900, 5,800) 19
Lower trunk 3,600 (1,900, 5,200) 18
Leg, including foot 2,300 (1,300, 3,400) 12
Arm 1,700 (800, 2,500) 8
Eventc
Overexertion & bodily reaction (7) 6,500 (3,800, 9,100) 32
Harmful exposures (5) 4,000 (1,900, 6,100) 20
Contact with objects & equipment (6) 3,100 (1,300, 4,900) 15
Falls, slips, trips (4) 2,200 (1,300, 3,100) 11
Transportation incidents (2) 2,200 (1,200, 3,300) 11
Violence (1) 2,100b (800, 3,300) 10
Sourcec
Persons, plants, animals, & minerals (5)d 10,700 (6,300, 15,100) 53
Vehicles (8) 3,000 (1,700, 4,300) 15
Tools, instruments, and equipment (7) 2,700 (1,500, 3,900) 13
Structures & surfaces (6) 2,100 (1,000, 3,200) 10
Discharge disposition from ED
Treated and released 20,000 (12,200, 27,700) 99

a Numbers and percentages do not add to totals or 100 because of rounding and omission of data not meeting NEISS-Work reporting requirements.
b This estimate is provided for information only as the variance does not meet NEISS-Work reporting requirements. Use this number with caution as the higher variance indicates it is less stable than other reported estimates.
c Events and sources are coded using Occupational Injury and Illness Classification System (OIICS) (version 2.01) . The numbers in parentheses after each category represent major division codes in the OIICS hierarchical coding structure.
d The majority of these injuries involved other people or bodily motion of the injured worker themselves.

Table 3: The majority of sprain and strain injuries involved the EMS worker’s trunk. Many sprains and strains, but not all, were noted in connection with bodily reactions or exertion. Falls and other kinds of injury events were occasionally related to sprains or strains. More than one-third of all sprain and strain injuries were related to interactions with a patient.

Table 3: Selected characteristics of EMS worker sprain and strain injuries treated in US hospital emergency departments, 2013
  Number of injuries/illnessesa 95% confidence interval Percenta
Total 6,800 (4,200, 9,400) 34
Body part affected
Lower trunk 2,300 (1,000, 3,600) 34
Upper trunk, inc. neck & shoulder 2,200 (1,300, 3,100) 33
Eventb
Overexertion & bodily reaction 4,500 (2,600, 6,400) 66
Sourceb
Patient (574) 2,600 (1,500, 3,800) 39

a Numbers and percentages do not add to totals or 100 because of rounding and omission of data not meeting NEISS-Work reporting requirements.
b Events and sources are coded using Occupational Injury and Illness Classification System (OIICS) . The numbers in parentheses after each category represent codes in the OIICS hierarchical coding structure.

For questions about the NEISS-Work data specific to EMS workers, please contact:

Audrey Reichard, MPH, OTR
Epidemiologist
(304)285-6019
AReichard@cdc.gov

2012

The NEISS-Work data in the tables below include all nonfatal injuries and illnesses that occurred during the performance of paid or volunteer EMS duties. “Fire fighters” were included when they were injured while performing EMS duties such as patient care, patient transport, patient rescue, or working in an ambulance.

Table 1: Among EMS workers treated in emergency departments (EDs) for an occupational injury or illness, the majority of workers were men. Among men and women, just over half of the injured/ill EMS workers were less than 35 years of age.

Table 1: Demographics of injured/ill EMS workers treated in US hospital emergency departments, 2012
  Number of injuries/illnesses 95% confidence interval Percent
Total 24,200 (12,800, 35,600) 100
Sex
Male 15,900 (7,700, 24,100) 66
Female 8,300 (4,400, 12,200) 34
Age group (in yrs)
<25 5,600a (2,000, 9,200) 23
25-34 7,700 (3,600, 11,700) 32
35-44 5,800 (2,900, 8,800) 24
>44 5,100 (2,800, 7,400) 21

a This estimate is provided for information only as the variance does not meet NEISS-Work reporting requirements. The higher variance means it is less stable than other reported estimates. Use this number with caution.

Table 2: Among EMS worker injuries and illnesses, sprains and strains were the most common diagnosis. Most injuries affected the lower and upper trunk. The greatest portion of injuries/illnesses involved bodily reactions and exertion. Almost half of the overexertion and bodily reaction events were specifically identified as overexertion during lifting. The second most common event related to injuries and illnesses was exposures to harmful substances such as potentially infectious materials (e.g., blood). Among all of the injuries and illnesses, the most common sources which directly produced the injury or illness involved the EMS worker themselves or another person such as a patient.

Table 2: Selected characteristics of EMS worker injuries and illnesses treated in US hospital emergency departments, 2012
  Number of injuries/illnessesa 95% confidence interval Percenta
Total 24,200 (12,800, 35,600) 100
Diagnosis
Sprains & strains 8,800 (3,900, 13,700) 37
Contusions/abrasions 4,000b (1,400, 6,500) 13
Body part affected
Upper trunk, inc. neck & shoulder 4,900b (1,300, 8,700) 20
Lower trunk 4,000 (2,100, 5,900) 17
Leg, including foot 3,600 (1,700, 5,600) 15
Hand & finger 3,500 (1,800, 5,300) 15
Arm 2,200b (500, 3,800) 9
Eventc
Overexertion & bodily reaction (7) 8,100 (3,500, 12,800) 34
Harmful exposures (5) 5,400b (1,900, 8,800) 22
Contact with objects & equipment (6) 3,000 (1,500, 4,500) 12
Falls, slips, trips (4) 2,900 (1,200, 4,500) 12
Violence (1) 2,400b (400, 4,500) 10
Transportation incidents (2) 2,300b (600, 4,000) 9
Sourcec
Persons, plants, animals, & minerals (5)d 12,500 (6,500, 18,500) 52
Vehicles (8) 4,000b (1,500, 6,500) 17
Tools, instruments, and equipment (7) 2,600b (700, 4,500) 11
Structures & surfaces (6) 2,500 (1,200, 3,900) 11
Discharge disposition from ED
Treated and released 23,800 (12,600, 35,100) 99

a Numbers and percentages might not add to totals or 100 because of rounding and omission of data not meeting NEISS-Work reporting requirements.
b This estimate is provided for information only as the variance does not meet NEISS-Work reporting requirements. The higher variance means it is less stable than other reported estimates. Use this number with caution.
c Events and sources are coded using Occupational Injury and Illness Classification System (OIICS) (version 2.01) . The numbers in parentheses after each category represent major division codes in the OIICS hierarchical coding structure.
d The majority of these injuries involved other people or bodily motion of the injured worker themselves.

Table 3: The majority of sprain and strain injuries involved the EMS worker’s trunk. Most sprains and strains, but not all, were noted in connection with bodily reactions or exertion. Falls and other kinds of injury events were occasionally related to sprains or strains. One-third of all sprain and strain injuries were related to interactions with a patient.

Table 3: Selected characteristics of EMS worker sprain and strain injuries treated in US hospital emergency departments, 2012
  Number of injuries/illnessesa 95% confidence interval Percenta
Total 8,800 (3,900, 13,700) 100
Body part affected
Lower trunk 2,400 (1,300, 3,500) 27
Upper trunk, inc. neck & shoulder 3,900b (1,200, 6,600) 44
Event
Overexertion & bodily reaction 6,100b (2,300, 9,900) 69
Sourcec
Patient (574) 2,900b (1,000, 4,700) 32
Stretchers, backboards, wheeled cots, stair chairs (755) 1,900b (200, 3,600) 21

a Numbers and percentages might not add to totals or 100 because of rounding and omission of data not meeting NEISS-Work reporting requirements.
b This estimate is provided for information only as the variance does not meet NEISS-Work reporting requirements. The higher variance means it is less stable than other reported estimates. Use this number with caution.
c Events and sources are coded using Occupational Injury and Illness Classification System (OIICS) (version 2.01) . The numbers in parentheses after each category represent codes in the OIICS hierarchical coding structure.

For questions about the NEISS-Work data specific to EMS workers, please contact:

Audrey Reichard, MPH, OTR
Epidemiologist
(304)285-6019
AReichard@cdc.gov

2011

The NEISS-Work data in the tables below include all nonfatal injuries and illnesses that occurred during the performance of paid or volunteer EMS duties. “Fire fighters” were included when they were injured while performing EMS duties such as patient care, patient transport, patient rescue, or working in an ambulance.

Table 1: Among EMS workers treated in emergency departments (EDs) for an occupational injury or illness, the majority of workers were men. Among men and women, just over half of the injured/ill EMS workers were less than 35 years of age.

Table 1: Demographics of injured/ill EMS workers treated in US hospital emergency departments, 2011
  Number of injuries/illnesses 95% confidence interval Percent
Total 27,800 (15,200, 40,500) 100
Sex
Male 17,900 (9,700, 26,000) 64
Female 9,900 (5,200, 14,700) 36
Age group (in yrs)a
<25 4,600 (2,000, 7,300) 17
25-34 10,100 (5,200, 15,000) 36
35-44 7,200b (2,400, 11,900) 26
>44 6,000 (2,700, 9,200) 21

a The numbers may not sum to the total due to rounding.
b This estimate is provided for information only as the variance does not meet NEISS-Work reporting requirements. The higher variance means it is less stable than other reported estimates. Use this number with caution.

Table 2: Among EMS worker injuries and illnesses, sprains and strains were the most common diagnosis. Most injuries affected the lower and upper trunk. The greatest portion of injuries/illnesses involved bodily reactions and exertion. The bodily reactions and exertions frequently resulted from a single incident of free bodily motion which imposed stress or strain on some part of the body or from excessive physical effort. The second most common event related to injuries and illnesses was exposures to harmful substances such as potentially infectious materials (e.g., blood). Among all of the injuries and illnesses, the most common sources which directly produced the injury or illness involved the EMS worker themselves or another person such as a patient.

Table 2: Selected characteristics of EMS worker injuries and illnesses treated in US hospital emergency departments, 2011
  Number of injuries/illnessesa 95% confidence interval Percenta
Total 27,800 (15,200, 40,500) 100
Diagnosis
Sprains & strains 11,300 (4,800, 17,800) 41
Contusions/abrasions 4,100 (1,800, 6,400) 15
Body part affected
Lower trunk 5,800 (2,400, 9,300) 21
Upper trunk, inc. neck & shoulder 5,700 (2,800, 8,600) 20
Hand & finger 3,200 (1,600, 4,900) 12
Arm 3,000 (1,500, 4,600) 11
Leg, including foot 2,800b (700, 4,900) 10
Eventc
Bodily reaction & exertion (2) 10,500 (4,200, 16,900) 38
Harmful exposures (3) 6,400 (3,000, 9,800) 23
Contact with objects & equipment (0) 3,000 (1,400, 4,600) 11
Falls (1) 2,800 (1,700, 4,000) 10
Transportation incidents (4) 2,400 (1,100, 3,600) 9
Assaults & violent acts (6) 2,100b (500, 3,700) 7
Sourcec
Persons, plants, animals, & minerals (5)d 14,200 (6,500, 22,000) 51
Tools, instruments, and equipment (7) 3,700 (1,700, 5,700) 13
Vehicles (8) 3,500 (1,800, 5,200) 13
Structures & surfaces (6) 2,500 (1,300, 3,800) 9
Discharge disposition from ED
Treated and released 27,100 (14,700, 39,600) 98

a Numbers and percentages might not add to totals or 100 because of rounding and omission of data not meeting NEISS-Work reporting requirements.
b This estimate is provided for information only as the variance does not meet NEISS-Work reporting requirements. The higher variance means it is less stable than other reported estimates. Use this number with caution.
c Events and sources are coded using Occupational Injury and Illness Classification System (OIICS) (version 1.01) . The numbers in parentheses after each category represent major division codes in the OIICS hierarchical coding structure.
d The majority of these injuries involved other people or bodily motion of the injured worker themselves.

Table 3: The majority of sprain and strain injuries involved the EMS worker’s trunk, although lower extremity sprains or strains were also common. Most sprains and strains, but not all, were noted in connection with bodily reactions or exertion. Falls and other kinds of injury events were occasionally related to sprains or strains. Almost half of all sprain and strain injuries were related to interactions with a patient.

Table 3: Selected characteristics of EMS worker sprain and strain injuries treated in US hospital emergency departments, 2011
  Number of injuries/illnessesa 95% confidence interval Percenta
Total 11,300 (4,800, 17,800) 100
Body part affected
Lower trunk 4,000b (1,300, 6,600) 35
Upper trunk, inc. neck & shoulder 3,900 (1,600, 6,200) 34
Lower extremity 1,900b (300, 3,400) 17
Event
Bodily reaction & exertion 8,400 (3,300, 13,500) 74
Sourcec
Healthcare patient or resident of a healthcare facility (573) 5,200b (1,600, 8,800) 46
Bodily motions/position of injured worker (562) 1,700 (800, 2,700) 15

a Numbers and percentages might not add to totals or 100 because of rounding and omission of data not meeting NEISS-Work reporting requirements.
b This estimate is provided for information only as the variance does not meet NEISS-Work reporting requirements. The higher variance means it is less stable than other reported estimates. Use this number with caution.
c Events and sources are coded using Occupational Injury and Illness Classification System (OIICS) (version 1.01) . The numbers in parentheses after each category represent codes in the OIICS hierarchical coding structure.

For questions about the NEISS-Work data specific to EMS workers, please contact:

Audrey Reichard, MPH, OTR
Epidemiologist
(304)285-6019
AReichard@cdc.gov

2010

The NEISS-Work data in the tables below include all nonfatal injuries and illnesses that occurred during the performance of paid or volunteer EMS duties. “Fire fighters” were included when they were injured while performing EMS duties such as patient care, patient transport, patient rescue, or working in an ambulance.

Table 1:Among EMS workers treated in emergency departments (EDs) for an occupational injury or illness, the majority of workers were men. Among men and women, the majority of injured/ill EMS workers were less than 35 years of age.

Table 1: Demographics of injured/ill EMS workers treated in US hospital emergency departments, 2010
  Number of injuries/illnesses 95% confidence interval Percent
Total 23,500 (12,700, 34,200) 100
Sex
Male 16,000 (8,900, 23,000) 68
Female 7,500 (3,600, 11,400) 32
Age group (in yrs)a
<25 4,500 (1,900, 7,000) 19
25-34 8,700 (3,800, 13,600) 37
35-44 6,200 (2,900, 9,500) 26
>44 4,100 (2,300, 5,900) 18

a The numbers may not sum to the total due to rounding.

Table 2: Among EMS worker injuries and illnesses, sprains and strains were the most common diagnosis. Most injuries affected the trunk, hand, or leg. The greatest portion of injuries/illnesses involved bodily reactions and exertion. The bodily reactions and exertions frequently resulted from a single incident of free bodily motion which imposed stress or strain on some part of the body or from excessive physical effort. The second most common event related to injuries and illnesses was exposures to harmful substances such as potentially infectious materials (e.g., blood). Among all of the injuries and illnesses, the most common sources which directly produced the injury or illness involved the EMS worker themselves or another person such as a patient.

Table 2: Selected characteristics of EMS worker injuries and illnesses treated in US hospital emergency departments, 2010
  Number of injuries/illnessesa 95% confidence interval Percenta
Total 23,500 (12,700, 34,200) 100
Diagnosis
Sprains & strains 9,800 (5,100, 14,400) 42
Contusions/abrasions 3,800b (1,000, 6,600) 16
Body part affected
Lower trunk 4,800 (2,300, 7,400) 21
Upper trunk, inc. neck & shoulder 4,600 (1,900, 7,300) 19
Hand & finger 4,400 (1,700, 7,100) 19
Leg, including foot 3,500 (1,600, 5,300) 15
Arm 2,000b (600, 3,500) 9
Eventc
Bodily reaction & exertion (2) 9,600 (4,600, 14,600) 41
Harmful exposures (3) 4,000 (1,700, 6,400) 17
Contact with objects & equipment (0) 3,400 (1,600, 5,300) 15
Assaults & violent acts (6) 2,200b (700, 3,800) 10
Transportation incidents (4) 2,000 (800, 3,200) 8
Falls (1) 1,900 (800, 3,000) 8
Sourcec
Persons, plants, animals, & minerals (5)d 11,300 (5,700, 16,800) 48
Tools, instruments, and equipment (7) 4,100b (1,400, 6,800) 17
Vehicles (8) 3,100 (1,600, 4,600) 13
Structures & surfaces (6) 1,900 (800, 3,000) 8
Discharge disposition from ED
Treated and released 23,000 (12,200, 33,700) 98

a Numbers and percentages might not add to totals or 100 because of rounding and omission of data not meeting NEISS-Work reporting requirements.
b This estimate is provided for information only as the variance does not meet NEISS-Work reporting requirements. The higher variance means it is less stable than other reported estimates. Use this number with caution.
c Events and sources are coded using Occupational Injury and Illness Classification System (OIICS) (version 1.01) . The numbers in parentheses after each category represent major division codes in the OIICS hierarchical coding structure.
d The majority of these injuries involved other people or bodily motion of the injured worker themselves.

Table 3: The majority of sprain and strain injuries involved the EMS worker’s trunk, although lower extremity sprains or strains were also common. Most sprains and strains, but not all, were noted in connection with bodily reactions or exertion. Falls and other kinds of injury events were occasionally related to sprains or strains. Almost half of all sprain and strain injuries were related to interactions with a patient.

Table 3: Selected characteristics of EMS worker sprain and strain injuries treated in US hospital emergency departments, 2010
  Number of injuries/illnessesa 95% confidence interval Percenta
Total 9,800 (5,100, 14,400) 100
Body part affected
Lower trunk 3,800 (1,600, 6,000) 39
Upper trunk, inc. neck & shoulder 3,200b (1,000, 5,300) 33
Lower extremity 2,000 (900, 3,100) 20
Event
Bodily reaction & exertion 7,600 (3,600, 11,500) 78
Sourcec
Healthcare patient or resident of a healthcare facility (573) 4,300 (1,700, 6,800) 44
Bodily motions/position of injured worker (562) 1,900 (900, 2,900) 19

a Numbers and percentages might not add to totals or 100 because of rounding and omission of data not meeting NEISS-Work reporting requirements.
b This estimate is provided for information only as the variance does not meet NEISS-Work reporting requirements. The higher variance means it is less stable than other reported estimates. Use this number with caution.
c Events and sources are coded using Occupational Injury and Illness Classification System (OIICS) (version 1.01) . The numbers in parentheses after each category represent codes in the OIICS hierarchical coding structure.

For questions about the NEISS-Work data specific to EMS workers, please contact:

Audrey Reichard, MPH, OTR
Epidemiologist
(304)285-6019
AReichard@cdc.gov

2009

The NEISS-Work data in the tables below include all nonfatal injuries and illnesses that occurred during the performance of paid or volunteer EMS duties. “Fire fighters” were included when they were injured while performing EMS duties such as patient care, patient transport, patient rescue, or working in an ambulance.

Table 1:Among EMS workers treated in emergency departments (EDs) for an occupational injury or illness, the majority of workers were men. Among men and women, the majority of injured/ill EMS workers were less than 35 years of age.

Table 1: Demographics of injured/ill EMS workers treated in US hospital emergency departments, 2009
  Number of injuries/illnesses 95% confidence interval Percent
Total 23,300 (16,100, 30,500) 100
Sex
Male 13,300 (9,600, 17,100) 57
Female 10,000 (5,500, 14,400) 43
Age group (in yrs)a
<25 5,200 (2,100, 8,300) 22
25-34 9,000 (6,800, 11,300) 29
35-44 4,800 (3,000, 6,600) 21
>44 4,200 (2,300, 6,100) 18

a The numbers may not sum to the total due to rounding.

Table 2: Among EMS worker injuries and illnesses, sprains and strains were the most common diagnosis. Most injuries affected the trunk, hand, and leg. The greatest portion of injuries/illnesses involved bodily reactions and exertions. The bodily reactions and exertions frequently resulted from a single incident of free bodily motion which imposed stress or strain on some part of the body or from excessive physical effort. The second most common event related to injuries and illnesses was exposures to harmful substances such as potentially infectious materials (e.g., blood). Among all of the injuries and illnesses, the most common sources which directly produced the injury or illness involved the EMS worker themselves or another person such as a patient.

Table 2: Selected characteristics of EMS worker injuries and illnesses treated in US hospital emergency departments, 2009
  Number of injuries/illnessesa 95% confidence interval Percenta
Total 23,300 (16,100, 30,500) 100
Diagnosis
Sprains & strains 8,900 (5,300, 12,400) 38
Contusions/abrasions 4,400 (2,300, 6,500) 19
Body part affected
Leg, including foot 4,000 (2,200, 5,900) 17
Lower trunk 4,000 (2,400, 5,600) 17
Upper trunk 4,700 (2,800, 6,700) 20
Hand & finger 4,200 (2,800, 6,700) 18
Arm 2,100 (1,100, 3,200) 9
Eventb
Bodily reaction & exertion (2) 8,700 (5,900, 11,600) 37
Harmful exposures (3) 4,400 (2,600, 6,200) 19
Contact with objects & equipment (0) 3,700 (2,300, 5,200) 16
Falls (1) 2,400 (800, 4,000) 10
Transportation incidents (4) 1,600 (700, 2,600) 7
Assaults & violent acts (6) 1,800c (600, 3,000) 8
Sourceb
Persons, plants, animals, & minerals (5)d 13,200 (9,100, 17,300) 57
Vehicles (8) 2,900 (1,500, 4,200) 12
Structures & surfaces (6) 2,500 (1,300, 3,600) 11
Tools, instruments, and equipment (7) 2,400 (1,400, 3,500) 10
Discharge disposition from ED
Treated and released 23,100 (16,000, 30,200) 99

a Numbers and percentages might not add to totals or 100 because of rounding and omission of data not meeting NEISS-Work reporting requirements.
b Events and sources are coded using Occupational Injury and Illness Classification System (OIICS) (version 1.01) . The numbers in parentheses after each category represent major division codes in the OIICS hierarchical coding structure.
c This estimate is provided for information only as the variance does not meet NEISS-Work reporting requirements. The higher variance means it is less stable than other reported estimates. Use this number with caution.
d The majority of these injuries involved other people or bodily motion of the injured worker themselves.

Table 3: The majority of sprain and strain injuries involved the EMS worker’s trunk, although lower extremity sprains or strains were also common. Most sprains and strains, but not all, were noted in connection with bodily reactions or exertion. Falls and other kinds of injury events were occasionally related to sprains or strains. More than one third of all sprain and strain injuries were related to interactions with a patient.

Table 3: Selected characteristics of EMS worker sprain and strain injuries treated in US hospital emergency departments, 2009
  Number of injuries/illnessesa 95% confidence interval Percenta
Total 8,900 (5,300, 12,400) 100
Body part affected
Lower trunk 2,600 (1,300, 4,000) 30
Upper trunk, inc. neck & shoulder 2,800 (1,500, 4,000) 31
Lower extremity 2,300b (800, 3,900) 26
Event
Bodily reaction & exertion 6,900 (4,200, 9,600) 78
Sourcec
Healthcare patient or resident of a healthcare facility (573) 3,300 (1,700, 5,000) 37
Bodily motions/position of injured worker (562) 2,400 (1,100, 3,600) 27

a Numbers and percentages might not add to totals or 100 because of rounding and omission of data not meeting NEISS-Work reporting requirements.
b This estimate is provided for information only as the variance does not meet NEISS-Work reporting requirements. The higher variance means it is less stable than other reported estimates. Use this number with caution.
c Events and sources are coded using Occupational Injury and Illness Classification System (OIICS) (version 1.01) . The numbers in parentheses after each category represent codes in the OIICS hierarchical coding structure.

For questions about the NEISS-Work data specific to EMS workers, please contact:

Audrey Reichard, MPH, OTR
Epidemiologist
(304)285-6019
AReichard@cdc.gov

2008

The NEISS-Work data in the tables below include all nonfatal injuries and illnesses that occurred during the performance of paid or volunteer EMS duties. “Fire fighters” were included when they were injured while performing EMS duties such as patient care, patient transport, patient rescue, or working in an ambulance.

Table 1: Among EMS workers treated in emergency departments (EDs) for an occupational injury or illness, the majority of workers were men. Among men and women, the majority of injured/ill EMS workers were less than 35 years of age.

Table 1: Demographics of injured/ill EMS workers treated in US hospital emergency departments, 2008
  Number of injuries/illnesses 95% confidence interval Percent
Total 21,500 (14,600, 28,400) 100
Sex
Male 12,800 (8,300, 17,300) 60
Female 8,700 (5,600, 11,800) 40
Age group (in yrs)a
<25 3,100b (900, 5,300) 14
25-34 8,600 (5,800, 11,500) 40
35-44 6,000 (3,500, 8,500) 28
>44 3,700 (2,000, 5,500) 17

a The numbers may not sum to the total due to rounding.
b This estimate is provided for information only as the variance does not meet NEISS-Work reporting requirements. The higher variance means it is less stable than other reported estimates. Use this number with caution.

Table 2: Among EMS worker injuries and illnesses, sprains and strains were the most common diagnosis. Most injuries affected the leg and lower trunk. The greatest portion of injuries/illnesses involved bodily reactions and exertion. The bodily reactions and exertions frequently resulted from a single incident of free bodily motion which imposed stress or strain on some part of the body or from excessive physical effort. The second most common event related to injuries and illnesses was exposures to harmful substances such as potentially infectious materials (e.g., blood). Among all of the injuries and illnesses, the most common sources which directly produced the injury or illness involved the EMS worker themselves or another person such as a patient.

Table 2: Selected characteristics of EMS worker injuries and illnesses treated in US hospital emergency departments, 2008
  Number of injuries/illnessesa 95% confidence interval Percenta
Total 21,500 (14,600, 28,400) 100
Diagnosis
Sprains & strains 9,100 (5,500, 12,700) 42
Contusions/abrasions 3,200 (1,700, 4,700) 15
Body part affected
Leg, including foot 4,300 (2,400, 6,300) 20
Lower trunk 4,200 (2,200, 6,100) 19
Upper trunk 3,300b (1,100, 5,600) 16
Hand & finger 2,700 (1,600, 3,800) 12
Arm 2,200 (1,300, 3,100) 10
Eventc
Bodily reaction & exertion (2) 8,800 (5,100, 12,600) 41
Harmful exposures (3) 4,100 (2,300, 5,800) 19
Contact with objects & equipment (0) 3,000 (1,700, 4,300) 14
Falls (1) 2,500 (1,300, 3,600) 11
Assaults & violent acts (6) 2,100b (700, 3,500) 10
Sourcec
Persons, plants, animals, & minerals (5)d 12,500 (7,900, 17,100) 58
Harmful exposures (3) 2,900 (1,500, 4,200) 13
Structures & surfaces (6) 2,100 (1,000, 3,300) 10
Discharge disposition from ED
Treated and released 21,300 (14,500, 28,100) 99

a Numbers and percentages might not add to totals or 100 because of rounding and omission of data not meeting NEISS-Work reporting requirements.
b This estimate is provided for information only as the variance does not meet NEISS-Work reporting requirements. The higher variance means it is less stable than other reported estimates. Use this number with caution.
c Events and sources are coded using Occupational Injury and Illness Classification System (OIICS) (version 1.01) . The numbers in parentheses after each category represent major division codes in the OIICS hierarchical coding structure.
d The majority of these injuries involved other people or bodily motion of the injured worker themselves.

Table 3: The majority of sprain and strain injuries involved the EMS worker’s trunk, although lower extremity sprains or strains were also common. Most sprains and strains, but not all, were noted in connection with bodily reactions or exertion. Falls and other kinds of injury events were occasionally related to sprains or strains. More than one third of all sprain and strain injuries were related to interactions with a patient.

Table 3: Selected characteristics of EMS worker sprain and strain injuries treated in US hospital emergency departments, 2008
  Number of injuries/illnessesa 95% confidence interval Percenta
Total 9,100 (5,500, 12,700) 100
Body part affected
Lower trunk 3,300 (1,300, 5,300) 36
Upper trunk, inc. neck & shoulder 2,400b (700, 4,100) 27
Lower extremity 2,400 (1,200, 3,500) 26
Event
Bodily reaction & exertion 7,200 (4,100, 10,400) 80
Sourcec
Healthcare patient or resident of a healthcare facility (573) 3,400 (1,600, 5,300) 38
Bodily motions/position of injured worker (562) 2,100 (1,100, 3,100) 23

a Numbers and percentages might not add to totals or 100 because of rounding and omission of data not meeting NEISS-Work reporting requirements.
b This estimate is provided for information only as the variance does not meet NEISS-Work reporting requirements. The higher variance means it is less stable than other reported estimates. Use this number with caution.
c Events and sources are coded using Occupational Injury and Illness Classification System (OIICS) (version 1.01) . The numbers in parentheses after each category represent codes in the OIICS hierarchical coding structure.

For questions about the NEISS-Work data specific to EMS workers, please contact:

Audrey Reichard, MPH, OTR
Epidemiologist
(304)285-6019
AReichard@cdc.gov

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