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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.
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.
Countywide suburban/rural EMS system.
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.
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.