Review of work-related injuries indicates high rate of needlestick injury

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Emergency medical technicians (EMTs) and paramedics are at serious risk for work-related injuries (WRIs) during work hours. Both EMTs and paramedics have higher WRI rates, according to the literature data” Yilmaz et al (2016).

Abstract:

OBJECTIVES: Emergency medical technicians (EMTs) and paramedics are at serious risk for work-related injuries (WRIs) during work hours. Both EMTs and paramedics have higher WRI rates, according to the literature data. This study was designed to investigate causes and characteristics of WRIs involving EMTs and paramedics staffed in Western Turkey.

METHODS: All health care personnel staffed in Emergency Medical Services (EMS) in the city were interviewed face-to-face in their off-duty hours to inform them about the study. Excluded from the study were those who declined to participate in the study, those who were not on duty during the two-month study period, and those who had been working in the EMS for less than one year. The subjects were asked to answer multiple-choice questions.

RESULTS: A total of 163 personnel (117 EMTs and 46 paramedics) comprised the study sample. Eighty-three personnel (50.9%) were female and mean age was 29.7 years (SD=8.4 years). The most common mechanisms of WRI, as reported by the personnel, were motor vehicle accidents (MVAs; 31.9%), needlestick injuries (16.0%), ocular exposure to bodily fluids (15.4%), and sharp injuries (9.8%), respectively. Needlestick injuries commonly occurred during intravenous line procedures (59.4%) and inside the cruising ambulance (n=20; 62.5%). Working inside the cruising ambulance was the most commonly accused cause of the WRI (41.3%).

CONCLUSION: Paramedic personnel and EMTs are under high risk of WRI. Motor vehicle accidents and needlestick injuries were the most common causes of WRI. Strict measures need to be taken to restructure the interior design to protect personnel from all kinds of WRIs.

Reference:

Yilmaz, A., Serinken, M., Dal, O., Yaylacı, S. and Karcioglu, O. (2016) Work-related Injuries Among Emergency Medical Technicians in Western Turkey. Prehospital and Disaster Medicine. August 5th. [Epub ahead of print].

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