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Fatal and nonfatal injuries among emergency medical technicians and paramedics.
Reichard AA; Marsh SM; Moore PH
Prehosp Emerg Care 2011 Oct-Dec; 15(4):511-517
Background. Emergency medical technicians (EMTs) and paramedics serve as primary providers of urgent medical care and are integral components in disaster response. They are at risk for fatal and nonfatal injuries during these activities. Objectives. To describe fatal and nonfatal injuries occurring to EMTs and paramedics. Methods. We analyzed data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI) and the occupational supplement to the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS-Work) for the period 2003-2007. Results. We identified 99,400 (95 percent confidence interval [CI], 71,700, 127,100) nonfatal injuries treated in emergency departments and 65 fatal injuries from the period 2003-2007. Most fatalities were related to motor vehicle incidents (45 percent) and aircraft crashes (31 percent). Among compensated EMTs and paramedics, the rate of fatal injuries was 6.3 per 100,000 full-time equivalents. Nonfatal injuries were primarily associated with stress on some part of the body from motion or overexertion (33 percent). Among all nonfatal injuries, the most common diagnosis was sprains and strains (38 percent). Conclusions. Emergency medical technicians and paramedics have higher fatal injury rates when compared with all workers. To reduce fatalities, targeted efforts should be made to prevent ground and air transportation incidents. Reducing nonfatal injuries may be accomplished by developing and evaluating interventions to prevent bodily stress and overexertion injuries.
Emergency-responders; Paramedical-services; Rescue-workers; Medical-rescue-services; Medical-personnel; Health-care-personnel; Emergency-care; Emergency-response; Emergency-treatment; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Traumatic-injuries; Mortality-data; Mortality-rates; Medical-care; Medical-treatment; Surveillance-programs; Information-retrieval-systems; Aircraft; Motor-vehicles; Muscle-stress; Musculoskeletal-system; Musculoskeletal-system-disorders; Physical-stress; Technical-personnel; Transportation; Cumulative-trauma; Cumulative-trauma-disorders; Author Keywords: paramedics; emergency medical technicians; occupational injuries; occupational exposure; occupational safety
Audrey A. Reichard, MPH, OTR, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Division of Safety Research, 1095 Willowdale Road, MS 1808, Morgantown, WV 26505
Issue of Publication
Prehospital Emergency Care
Page last reviewed: March 18, 2022
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division