Work-related injuries sustained by emergency medical technicians and paramedics in Turkey

Gulen, BEDİA
Serinken, Mustafa
Sonmez, ERTAN
KAYA, Gokhan
AKPINAR, Guleser
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BACKGROUND: Evaluated in the present study were locations, descriptions, and results of work-related injuries (WRIs) sustained by emergency medical technicians (EMTs) and paramedics in Turkey’s most crowded city, İstanbul. METHODS: After the present study had been accepted by the urban health authority, a questionnaire was emailed to the healthcare personnel of İstanbul’s 195 ambulance stations. RESULTS: Included in the present study were the responses of 901 members of staff (660 EMTs and 241 paramedics), with a mean age of 29.5±6.1 (min: 18; max: 61). The majority of participants (94.9%) had encountered verbal abuse from the public, and 39.8% had encountered physical violence from patients’ relatives. Levels of satisfaction with work in emergency medical services (EMS) was also evaluated, and 510 participants (57.6%) were unhappy. Regarding gender, female employees were more likely to be verbally attacked (p=0.01), while males were more likely to be physically attacked (p=0.001). It was reported that motor vehicle accidents (MVAs) were the most common cause of WRIs (81.4%), followed by needle-stick injuries (52.2%), ocular exposure to blood and other fluids (30.9%), and sharp injuries (22.5%). Only 10.5% (n=95) of WRIs were reported to authorities; 488 (54.2%) of participants just attended to the practice to prevent possible WRIs. CONCLUSION: For paramedics and EMTs, risk of WRI is obviously high. Strategies to decrease and prevent verbal and physical violence should be developed. Keywords: Accident; ambulance;

Gulen B., Serinken M., HATIPOGLU C., OZASIR D., Sonmez E., KAYA G., AKPINAR G., -Work-related injuries sustained by emergency medical technicians and paramedics in Turkey-, ULUSAL TRAVMA VE ACIL CERRAHI DERGISI-TURKISH JOURNAL OF TRAUMA & EMERGENCY SURGERY, cilt.22, ss.145-149, 2016
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