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An eight year retrospective analysis was conducted to determine the type and outcome of lawsuits related to the provision of 9-1-1 paramedic service in an urban environment.
For the evaluation period of May 1986 to March 1994, all litigation cases related to Ambulance Service or paramedics were collected and analyzed. This urban 9-1-1 Paramedic Service has an estimated call volume of >60,000 assignments resulting in >30,000 patient encounters during the evaluation period.
Seven lawsuits were filed against the service. No lawsuits were related to tardy response, failure to transport, or patient care negligence of any kind. All of the litigation was related to motor vehicle collisions (MVC).
The data suggest that motor vehicle collisions are a significant medicallegal risk to the EMS community. In addition, it was found that the use and lack of use of seatbelts was an important component in many of the suits.