Department of Emergency Medicine; Department of Quantitative Health Sciences
Accidents, Traffic; *Ambulances; Automobile Driving; *Guideline Adherence; Health Care Surveys; Humans; *Lighting; *Noise; Prospective Studies; Quality Assurance, Health Care; Time Factors; *Transportation of Patients
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.
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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
Prehospital, Emergency Medical Services, Warning Lights and Siren
The western journal of emergency medicine
Tennyson, Joseph; Maranda, Louise; and Darnobid, Adam, "Knowledge and Beliefs of EMS Providers toward Lights and Siren Transportation" (2015). Open Access Articles. 2725.
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