Finally in the news this week, I look at an article from our good friend Rob Lawrence of the Richmond Ambulance Authority. He wrote an article on new methods for ambulance design for EMSWorld.com and EMS World magazine as part of their EMS 2020 initiative to create an overall culture of safety in the field.

Newer Ambulance Designs On the Way

Senior Woman in AmbulancePart of that initiative is to create newer, safer, ambulance designs. When you think about it, we are still using an ambulance design model that is based on the original hearse ambulances of the 1960’s: Patient in a cot, Facing the rear, EMT or Paramedic on a bench seat next to them, Ineffective or inefficient safety restraints.

US researchers consider EMS workers to be a “high-risk” population due to the number of injuries and fatalities associated with their jobs. Many of these injuries and deaths are caused during transport when the ambulance in which they’re riding becomes involved in an accident.

NIOSH Measuring EMS Activities

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), a federal agency for research devoted to reducing work related injury and death. They are applying the science of anthropometry to ambulance design, basically creating an ambulance based on measuring the actual body movements needed to treat and manage a patient during transport to the hospital.

This type of design could revolutionize ambulance design while simultaneously making us safer in the field doing our jobs. I hope you’ll read the whole article to see how ambulance designs may change based on this groundbreaking research. The NIOSH study is looking at everything from where we sit during transport to how we climb in and out of the units.

Check it out for the full report and I’ll make sure I continue to follow up on this initiative in the future.

Followup on the links to this news item and all the other articles and resources in this week’s episode show notes – Teaching Resuscitation and High Quality CPR to EMS and Episode 375.

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