UMMS Affiliation

Department of Emergency Medicine; Department of Quantitative Health Sciences

Date

5-1-2015

Document Type

Article

Subjects

Accidents, Traffic; *Ambulances; Automobile Driving; *Guideline Adherence; Health Care Surveys; Humans; *Lighting; *Noise; Prospective Studies; Quality Assurance, Health Care; Time Factors; *Transportation of Patients

Disciplines

Emergency Medicine

Abstract

INTRODUCTION: The use of warning lights and siren (WLS) increases the risk of ambulance collisions. Multiple studies have failed to demonstrate a clinical benefit to the patients. We sought to investigate the degree to which providers understand the data and incorporate it into their practice.

METHODS: The authors distributed an anonymous survey to prehospital providers under their medical direction at staff and quality assurance meetings. The surveys asked the providers' degree of agreement with four statements: transport with lights and siren shortens transport times; transport with lights and siren improves patient outcome; transport with lights and siren increases the risk of collision during transport; and transport with lights and siren reduces the utilization of "mutual aid" service. We compared responses between providers who had been in prior ambulance collisions and those who had not.

RESULTS: Few responses reached statistical significance, but respondents tended towards agreement that WLS use shortens transport times, that it does not improve outcomes, and that it increases the risk of collision. Despite the overall agreement with the published literature, respondents report > 80% of transports are conducted using WLS.

CONCLUSION: The data demonstrate the surveyed providers are aware of the risk posed by WLS to themselves, their patients, and the public. Nevertheless, their practice in the absence of rigid protocols suggests they disregard this knowledge. Despite a large number of prior ambulance collisions among the surveyed group, a high number of transports are conducted using WLS.

Rights and Permissions

Citation: West J Emerg Med. 2015 May;16(3):465-71. doi: 10.5811/westjem.2015.2.24212. Epub 2015 Apr 6. Link to article on publisher's site

DOI of Published Version

10.5811/westjem.2015.2.24212

Comments

Copyright: © 2015 Tennyson et al. This is an open access article distributed in accordance with the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY 4.0) License. See: http://creativecommons.org/ licenses/by/4.0/.

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

Keywords

Prehospital, Emergency Medical Services, Warning Lights and Siren

Journal Title

The western journal of emergency medicine

PubMed ID

25987931

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

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