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Emergency responders at high risk to miss work because of injuries
Date:1/7/2008

years of data produced similar results. While an estimated 8.1 per 100 of these professionals experienced an on-the-job injury or illness per year, the rates were much higher for those with very high call volume (18.9 per 100) and self-reported back problems (12.5 per 100).

In addition, those working in an urban environment a community with a population exceeding 25,000 were three times more likely to report an injury with missed work time than their counterparts in rural communities.

This research is part of a larger effort to study the effectiveness and attitudes about the use of new devices that have potential to reduce back injury, such as stretchers equipped with hydraulic lift mechanisms and specialized chairs that ease the movement of patients on stairs. The equipment designed for this purpose has a high cost, but it saves backs, said Crawford, a registered nurse and a former EMT who lost six weeks of work to a back injury when he was working full time as a nurse.

Both Crawford and Studnek know the hazards that go along with this profession. Studnek, now a fellow at the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians in Columbus, was a paramedic for five years before beginning graduate work in public health at Ohio State .

I hurt my back once or twice and have seen good friends who got hurt and had to leave the field. I feel this is important work that needs to be done to help my colleagues lengthen their careers.

Injury prevention pertains more to retention than to recruitment of EMTs and paramedics. Once they've devoted time to the profession, we don't want them to leave because they became injured.


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Contact: John "Mac" Crawford
mcrawford@cph.osu.edu
614-293-6804
Ohio State University
Source:Eurekalert

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