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Occupational injuries among emergency medical personnel : an international epidemic

conference contribution
posted on 06.12.2017, 00:00 authored by Brian MaguireBrian Maguire
Background: Emergency medical services (EMS) personnel respond to 31 million calls per year in the United States alone. In addition to their vital role in providing day-to-day emergency medical care, they also provide critical services during public events and disasters, and they are increasingly involved with community heath and injury prevention. The objective of this presentation is to describe the literature on occupational risks among EMS personnel.Methods: Medline search using terms: ambulance personnel, paramedics, occupational injury, lifting injury, assault and transportation. Results: Maguire examined fatal injuries among ambulance personnel and found a rate of 12.7 injuries per 100,000 workers per year; a rate comparable to police and firefighters, and more than twice the U.S. national average. The non-fatal injury rate is 35 cases per 100 full-time workers per year. Among Australian paramedics, the risk of serious injury is more than seven times higher than the national average and the fatality rate is five times higher than the national average. Violence against paramedics has been described as a significant problem in three countries.Conclusions: The high rate of injury and fatality among paramedics is serious public health emergency. In addition to the devastating individual consequences, the problem likely results in poorer care, longer response times and higher costs for the millions of people who call for EMS personnel every year. Ambulance agencies must work with researchers to conduct analyses of data and interviews with injured personnel. These steps are required before interventions can be developed, tested and implemented.


Parent Title

Healthography: APHA 142nd Annual Meeting & Expo, 15-19 November, New Orleans.

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New Orleans, USA


American Public Health Association

Place of Publication

Washington, DC

Peer Reviewed


Open Access


External Author Affiliations

School of Medical and Applied Sciences (2013- ); TBA Research Institute;

Era Eligible


Name of Conference

American Public Health Association. Annual Meeting