Advertisement

State of Research in the Design and Development of Emergency Response Vehicles and Equipment: A Scoping Review

  • Bronson Du
  • Michelle Boileau
  • Kayla Wierts
  • Steven Fischer
  • Amin Yazdani
Conference paper
Part of the Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing book series (AISC, volume 824)

Abstract

The current design of ambulances and paramedic equipment are not conducive of a safe and efficient work environment, and it plays a role in the poor health of paramedics. There has been discussion to improve current design standards to set the bar higher. Despite the desire to include human factors and ergonomics (HFE) into a standard, the effectiveness of HFE interventions is unclear and a systematic review of these interventions is needed prior to recommending it into the standard. The objective of this study was to review all existing English peer reviewed research to identify interventions or features of the patient compartment and associated equipment that could affect paramedics performance, health, and safety.

A scoping review methodology was applied to systematically search and screen for relevant articles, and to systematically extract and chart the data. Three databases (EmBase, Scopus and PubMed) were searched and search results were screened for articles that pertained to the performance, health, and safety of paramedics within the ambulance or when using equipment. 48 relevant articles were identified. Considering the timeline of the research (predominately since 2005) and the current state of intervention development (most research still targets understanding the problem), we conclude that the overall body of research available to improve the performance, health, and safety of paramedics is limited. Evidence has improved our understanding of the ergonomic challenges faced by paramedics, but we have less evidence to inform standards or best practices. Future research efforts should fill this gap by focusing on developing, implementing and evaluating strategies to address HFE concerns within the paramedic sector.

Keywords

Human factors and ergonomics Emergency medical services Ambulances Paramedic equipment 

References

  1. 1.
    Maguire BJ, Hunting KL, Smith GS, Levick NR (2002) Occupational fatalities in emergency medical services: a hidden crisis. Ann Emerg Med 40(6):625–632CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Maguire BJ, Smith S (2013) Injuries and fatalities among emergency medical technicians and paramedics in the United States. Prehosp Disaster Med 28(4):376–82. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23659321
  3. 3.
    Slattery DE, Silver A (2009) The hazards of providing care in emergency vehicles: an opportunity for reform. Prehospital Emerg care 13(3):388–397CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Brice JH, Studnek JR, Bigham BL, Martin-Gill C, Custalow CB, Hawkins E, et al. (2012) EMS provider and patient safety during response and transport. In: Proceedings of an ambulance safety conference. Prehospital Emerg Care, vol. 16(1), pp 3–19. http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.3109/10903127.2011.626106
  5. 5.
    Maguire BJ, O’Meara PF, Brightwell RF, O’Neill BJ, Fitzgerald GJ (2014) Occupational injury risk among Australian paramedics: an analysis of national data. Med J Aust 200(8):477–80. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24794611
  6. 6.
    Maguire BJ, Hunting KL, Guidotti TL, Smith GS (2005) Occupational injuries among emergency medical services personnel. Prehospital Emerg Care 9(4):405–11. http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/10903120500255065
  7. 7.
    Gilad I, Byran E (2007) Ergonomic evaluation of the ambulance interior to reduce paramedic discomfort and posture stress. Hum Factors 49(6):1019–1032CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Byran E, Gilad I (2012) Design considerations to inhance the safety of patient compartments in ambulance transporters. Int J Occup Saf Ergon. 18(2):221–231CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Prairie J, Plamondon A, Hegg-Deloye S, Larouche D, Corbeil P (2016) Biomechanical risk assessment during field loading of hydraulic stretchers into ambulances. Int J Ind Ergon 54:1–9CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Lavender SA, Conrad KM, Reichelt PA, Meyer TF, Johnson PW (2000) Postural analysis of paramedics simulating frequently performed strenuous work tasks. Appl Ergon 31(1):45–57CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Kibira D, Lee YT, Marshall J, Feeney AB, Avery L, Jacobs A (2015) Simulation-based design concept evaluation for ambulance patient compartments. Simulation 91(8):691–714. http://sim.sagepub.com/cgi/doi/10.1177/0037549715592716
  12. 12.
    Armstrong TJ, Burdorf A, Descatha A, Farioli A, Graf M, Horie S, et al. (2018) Scientific basis of ISO standards on biomechanical risk factors. Scand J Work Environ Health. http://www.sjweh.fi/show_abstract.php?abstract_id=3718
  13. 13.
    Arksey H, O’Malley L (2005) Scoping studies: towards a methodological framework. Int J Soc Res Methodol 8(1):19–32. http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/1364557032000119616
  14. 14.
    Levac D, Colquhoun H, O’Brien KK (2015) Scoping studies: advancing the methodology. Implement Sci 5(1):69. http://implementationscience.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1748-5908-5-69
  15. 15.
    Wight D, Wimbush E, Jepson R, Doi L (2015) Six steps in quality intervention development (6SQuID). J Epidemiol Community Health 70(5):520–525CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Reuter E, Camba JD (2017) Understanding emergency workers’ behavior and perspectives on design and safety in the workplace. Appl Ergon 59:73–83. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.apergo.2016.08.023

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bronson Du
    • 1
    • 4
  • Michelle Boileau
    • 1
    • 4
  • Kayla Wierts
    • 1
    • 4
  • Steven Fischer
    • 1
    • 4
  • Amin Yazdani
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
  1. 1.University of WaterlooWaterlooCanada
  2. 2.Conestoga CollegeKitchenerCanada
  3. 3.Centre of Research Expertise for the Prevention of Musculoskeletal Disorders (CRE-MSD)WaterlooCanada
  4. 4.McMaster UniversityHamiltonCanada

Personalised recommendations