Posted on Oct 20, 2022
Violence is the second most frequent cause of nonfatal injuries to emergency medical services (EMS) providers according to 2020 data from National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) data tracking. Most of these injuries are caused by the patients EMS providers are treating.
Recommendations for personal safety vary from department to department and include:
An EMS department in Austin, Texas is implementing a training program that focuses on changing how violent patients are approached, including how to detect a possibly violent patient early in the incident.
Although important, situational awareness, self-defense skills, and PPE may not be the entire solution. The SAVER Systems Checklist PDF shifts the responsibility of safety and health from that of the individual first responder to the organization. The checklist contains items organized by 6 phases of EMS response:
These items are the focus of safety actions that leadership can institute through training, policy and environmental modifications.
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