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Patient Outcome Using Medical Protocol to Limit “Lights and Siren” Transport

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  28 June 2012

Douglas F. Kupas
Affiliation:
Department of Emergency Medicine, Geisinger Medical Center, Danville, Pa.
David J. Dula
Affiliation:
Department of Emergency Medicine, Geisinger Medical Center, Danville, Pa.
Bruno J. Pino
Affiliation:
Citizens' Ambulance Service, Indiana, Pa.

Abstract

Introduction:

Emergency medical services vehicle collisions (EMVCs) associated with the use of warning “lights and siren” (L&S) are responsible for injuries and death to emergency medical services (EMS) personnel and patients. This study examines patient outcome when medical protocol directs L&S transport.

Design:

During four months, all EMS calls initiated as an emergency request for service and culminating in transport to an emergency department (ED) were included. Medical criteria determined emergent (L&S) versus non-emergent transport. Patients with worsened conditions, as reported by EMS providers, were reviewed.

Setting:

Countywide suburban/rural EMS system.

Results:

Ninety-two percent (1,495 of 1,625) of patients were transported non-emergently. Thirteen (1%) of these were reported to have worsened during transport, and none of them suffered any worsened outcome related to the non-L&S transport.

Conclusion:

This medical protocol directing the use of warning L&S during patient transport results in infrequent L&S transport. In this study, no adverse outcomes were found related to non-L&S transports.

Type
Original Research
Copyright
Copyright © World Association for Disaster and Emergency Medicine 1994

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References

1. Elling, R: Dispelling myths on ambulance accidents. JEMS 1989;14:6064.Google ScholarPubMed
2. Clawson, JJ: Running “hot” and the case of Sharon Rose. JEMS 1991;16:1113.Google Scholar
3. Auerbach, PS, Morris, JJ, Phillips, JB Jr, et al. : An analysis of ambulance accidents in Tennessee. JAMA 1987;258:14871490.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
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7. National Association of EMS Physicians, Emergency Medical Response Task Force: Use of warning lights and siren in emergency medical vehicle response and patient transport. Prehospital and Disaster Medicine 1994;9:133136.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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