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Emergency medical professionals support their participation in prevention programs
Date:2/17/2009

Most emergency medical services (EMS) professionals believe that they should also participate in injury and disease prevention programs, according to a national survey by emergency medicine researchers at the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee.

"Emergency medical service providers are the only health care providers who see people in their homes at unscheduled times, and are the most likely to identify safety or health issues in the community that need to be addressed," says study author E. Brooke Lerner, Ph.D., associate professor of emergency medicine.

"Also, many people who call for help don't go to the hospital, and EMS personnel might be the only people who see them," she added. "An elderly woman who falls and cannot get up may actually need some social services. If she is only seen by EMS, and they don't have a referral program, she might never be identified as needing outside services."

Results of her survey of over 27,000 EMS professionals, conducted as an optional part of the national registry of emergency medical technicians' 2006 re-registration process, were recently published in the journal Prehospital Emergency Care.

Nearly 83 percent of the respondents believed that EMS professionals should participate in disease or injury prevention, and about one-third already had done so.

The respondents were mixed as to whether prevention services should be provided during emergency calls. About half who responded were in favor of providing prevention services during emergency calls, and those with experience in providing prevention services were more likely to agree. Only about eight percent reported already having provided prevention services during emergency calls, and they were the most likely to approve of the practice.

E. Brooke Lerner, Ph.D., associate professor of emergency medicine and population health at The Medical College of Wisconsin, has been appointed to the National
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Contact: Toranj Marphetia
toranj@mcw.edu
414-456-4700
Medical College of Wisconsin
Source:Eurekalert

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