The 130th Annual Meeting of APHA

4137.0: Tuesday, November 12, 2002 - Board 3

Abstract #52464

Relative risk of injury and death in ambulances and other emergency vehicles

Les Becker, z, z, z, AL 12345, 123456789,

This study analyzes of the impacts of emergency vehicle occupant (EVO) seating position, restraint use and vehicle response status on EVO injuries and fatalities. Multinomial logistic regression models were estimated for cases in the National Highway Traffic Safety Administrationís Fatality Analysis Reporting System and the General Estimates System. Model One estimated the relative risk ratios (RRR) for different levels of injury severity to EVOs traveling in ambulances; response mode, seating position and restraint use were independent variables. Model Two included police cars and fire trucks; response mode and restraint use were independent variables. Relative to police cars and fire trucks, ambulances experienced the highest percentage of fatal crashes where EVOs are killed and injured. Lack of restraint use and emergency response characterized the majority of fatalities among fire truck occupants. Unrestrained ambulance occupants involved in a crash were significantly more likely to be killed (RRR= 3.76; p < .009) or seriously injured (RRR=6.49; p < .001) than restrained occupants. Ambulance rear occupants were more likely to be killed (RRR=1.23; p < .011) than front seat occupants. Ambulance occupants traveling non-emergency were more likely to be killed (RRR=2.62; p < .008) or severely injured (RRR=1.69; p <.001) than those traveling emergency. In Model 2, the likelihood of a fatality was greater for unrestrained EVOs (RRR=6.154; p <.0001). Our findings suggest that EVOs in all vehicle types and ambulance crewmembers riding in the back should be restrained whenever feasible. Family members accompanying patients should ride in the front seat of the ambulance.

Learning Objectives:

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

Latebreaker Posters in Injury Control

The 130th Annual Meeting of APHA