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A Survey of Emergency Medical Services Systems on College and University Campuses

  • Brent R. King (a1), Brian S. Zachariah (a2), David C. Cone (a3) and Peter Clark (a4)

Abstract

Introduction:

Many colleges and universities appear to exist in relative isolation from community-based emergency medical services (EMS) systems. In response, some have developed their own EMS systems.

Objective:

To determine the extent of this phenomenon and to delineate the characteristics of these systems.

Design/Methods:

Questionnaires were mailed to 1,503 colleges/universities in the United States and Canada. The questionnaire asked whether the institution had an EMS system and included 19 questions about the characteristics of the system.

Results:

A total of 919 (61 %) responses were received. Of the institutions responding, 234 (25%) had an EMS system and 31 (3.4%) were considering starting a system. Characteristics of the systems were as follows: 1) Types of patients—the two most common call types were medical and trauma/surgical; 134 (57%) reported one-fourth of calls to be medical and 91 (39%) reported one-fourth of calls to be trauma/surgical. 2) Type of service—133 (57%) services transport patients; 195 (83%) respond only to the campus or other university property; the remainder also respond to the community; and 135 (58%) function all year. 3) Dispatch—178 (76%) are dispatched by the campus police, although most services are dispatched by several sources; 46 (20%) use 9-1-1. 4) Personnel—two systems (0.85%) exclusively employ paramedic; 141 systems (60%) have at least one emergency medical technician; the remainder use emergency care attendants and first-aid providers; 118 (50%) have medical directors, of these 76 (64 %) are student health physicians and 21 (18%) are community physicians. 5) Demographic Information—The majority of the campus-based EMS systems exist on small campuses in urban areas.

Conclusions:

A significant number of colleges/universities have EMS systems and one-half transport patients. However, the level of training of the personnel and medical direction may be below the standard for the EMS systems in the communities in which these campus-based systems exist.

Copyright

Corresponding author

Department of Emergency Medicine, The Medical College of Pennsylvania, 3300 Henry Ave., Philadelphia, PA 19129, USA

References

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1. DeLorenzo, RA, Gray, BC: Emergency medicine on college campuses: Key elements in the establishment and success of a campus based ambulance corps. J Am Coll Health 1986;35:9293.
2. Mckillip, J, Courtney, CL, Locasso, R, et al. : College students' use of emergency medical services. J Am Coll Health 1990;38:289292.
3. The World of Learning: Directory of Post Secondary Institutions, vol 1. 41st edition. 1991.

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A Survey of Emergency Medical Services Systems on College and University Campuses

  • Brent R. King (a1), Brian S. Zachariah (a2), David C. Cone (a3) and Peter Clark (a4)

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