Ambulance Transport of Noncritical Children: Emergency Medical Service Providers’ Knowledge, Opinions, and Practice

From Clinical Pediatrics:

Purpose. Safe ambulance transport of children presents unique challenges. Our study describes child passenger restraint practices during ambulance transport, Emergency Medical Service (EMS) providers’ knowledge, training, and use of child passenger restraint devices (CRD).

Methods. A child passenger safety technician (CPST) recorded restraint used for pediatric ambulance transport. The CPST assessed and documented type of CRD used, securement, and whether the child was properly restrained. EMS providers’ knowledge, training, and CRD use for ambulance transport were assessed.

Results. The study period spanned July 2009 to July 2010; 63 EMS personnel were interviewed and 40 children were observed. Approximately 75% of emergency medical technicians surveyed felt their knowledge of pediatric transport was adequate. Fourteen percent allowed a stable patient to be transported via parent’s lap. Twelve percent were transported unrestrained. None of the 11 patients, birth to 3 years, were found to be transported correctly.

Conclusion. Study findings supports education and training of EMS personnel to improve the safe ambulance transport of children.

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