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Perceived exertion using two different EMS stretcher systems, report from a Swedish study.
Southern Älvsborg Emergency Medical Services.
Southern Älvsborg Emergency Medical Services.
University of Borås, Faculty of Caring Science, Work Life and Social Welfare. (PreHospen)
Karolinska Institute.
2018 (English)In: American Journal of Emergency Medicine, ISSN 0735-6757, E-ISSN 1532-8171, article id S0735-6757(18)30157-8Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

BACKGROUND: Emergency medical services (EMS) facilitate out of hospital care in a wide variety of settings on a daily basis. Stretcher-related adverse events and long term musculoskeletal injuries are commonly reported. Novel stretcher mechanisms may facilitate enhanced movement of patients and reduce workload for EMS personnel.

AIM: To describe EMS personnel's perceived exertion using two different stretcher systems.

METHODS: The methodology of this explorative simulation study included enrolling twenty (n=20) registered nurses and paramedics who worked in ten pairs (n=10) to transport a conscious, 165lb. (75kg) patient using two different EMS stretcher systems: the Pensi stretcher labeled A and the ALLFA stretcher labeled B. The ten pairs (n=10) were randomized to use either an A stretcher or a B stretcher with subsequent crossover. The pairs performed six identical tasks with each stretcher, including conveying stretchers from an ambulance up to the first floor of a building via a staircase, loading a patient on to the stretcher, and using the stretcher to transport the patient back to the ambulance. The subjective Rating of Perceived Exertion (RPE) survey (Borg scale) was used to measure perceived exertion at predefined intervals during transport.

RESULTS: No significant differences in workload were seen between stretcher groups A and B regarding unloading the stretcher (7.4 vs 8.2 p=0.3), transporting up a stairway (13.7 vs 12.5 p=0.06), lateral lift (12.1 vs 11.2 p=0.5), or flat ground transportation (10.4 vs 11.1 p=0.13). Pairs using stretcher A showed significantly less workload with regards to transporting down a stairway (11.0 vs 14.5 p<0.001) and loading into ambulance (11.1 vs 13.0 p<0.001).

CONCLUSION: A structured methodology may be used for testing the exertion levels experienced while using different stretcher systems. The use of supporting stretcher system mechanisms may reduce perceived exertion in EMS personnel mainly during transports down stairs and during loading into ambulance vehicles.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. article id S0735-6757(18)30157-8
Keywords [en]
Borg-scale, EMS, Stretcher, Workload
National Category
Other Medical Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hb:diva-13801DOI: 10.1016/j.ajem.2018.02.023PubMedID: 29510910OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hb-13801DiVA, id: diva2:1189405
Available from: 2018-03-09 Created: 2018-03-09 Last updated: 2018-03-12Bibliographically approved

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Andersson Hagiwara, Magnus

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