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Ambulance Crash Tests Promote Prevention through Design

Posted: Fri Jun 23, 2017 11:51 am
by MSI
Ambulance Crash Tests Promote Prevention through Design
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  • Quickly maneuvering to the side of the road to allow a lights-flashing, sirens-blaring ambulance to pass, we may wonder about the medical emergency unfolding inside the racing vehicle. “That could be me or one of my family members,” we may think, a bit nervously, glad that the patient in the ambulance is receiving medical attention. What we may not consider as we sit safely in our cars is that medical care occurring while the ambulance is moving could place both the patient and the emergency medical services (EMS) workers at additional risk in the event of a crash.

    In fact, vehicle crashes are the leading work-related cause of death in the United States, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. At especially high risk are EMS workers. Part of the problem is that ambulances, although outfitted with the latest medical equipment, may not adequately protect either workers or patients in a crash.

    To protect EMS workers, NIOSH applies a technique known as prevention through design. The ultimate goal is to make ambulances safer by designing the interior so that EMS workers can remain seated and restrained while treating patients, who are also restrained for protection. Furthermore, safe ambulance design anchors heavy equipment to prevent it from becoming a dangerous missile if a crash does occur.
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Ambulance Crash Tests Promote Prevention through Design