Finally in the news this week, an article that has become all to common an occurrence lately, EMS providers dying in motor vehicle accidents with an ambulance. I suppose you could say that it’s an occupational hazard and you’d be right.
Highway’s Unsafe for EMS Workers
WISHtv.com from Indianapolis, Indiana reported on a recent accident there involving the deaths of two paramedics from an ambulance involved in a motor vehicle accident there. The article looks at highway safety and EMS careers.
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) every year, an average of 1,300 workers are killed in motor vehicle accidents each year. The agency also says that EMS providers are more likely than others to be involved in such fatal incidents with some saying that the rate is twice that of other workers and that many of these fatal accidents involve ambulance rollovers.
Ambulance Safety Partnerships Not Enough
NIOSH has partnered with ambulance manufacturers recently to improve ambulance safety for providers and patients but I have to say that I think it’s too little, too late. Still, with no significant changes on the way, we have to fall back on those risk factors we can control. We can drive more defensively, with less speed and more caution when approaching intersections. We can never assume that we are seen, even when running lights and siren to and from a scene.
The fact remains, we can’t save patients’ lives if we’re involved in a motor vehicle crash on the way to there. So slow down, use more caution and get yourself and your partners home safely. I want you to be part of the MedicCast community for years to come!
Follow-up on the information in this article in the news links and other resources found in the show notes page from this episode of the MedicCast — Transdermal Patch Overdose and Episode 323.