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September 18, 1987

An Analysis of Ambulance Accidents in Tennessee

JAMA. 1987;258(11):1487-1490. doi:10.1001/jama.1987.03400110069027

In an effort to improve our program for ambulance crash and related injury prevention, we analyzed 102 consecutive ambulance accidents. Incidents reported included those that resulted in human injury or in which property damage exceeded $200. Multiple logistic regression was used to determine the association between circumstances reported at the time of the accidents and the risk of injury. Twenty-nine accidents contributed to a total of 65 injured victims, with one death. The variable most strongly associated with the probability of an injury-accident was use of a passenger restraint device. Darkness and occurrence at an intersection were variables showing increased risk, but were not statistically significant. The interaction of variables did not have a combined influence on the incidence of injury. The mean delay to hospital care after an accident was 9.4 minutes. Based on our data, we conclude that passenger restraints for both ambulance attendants and passengers should be mandatory, and we suggest that traffic signals be strictly heeded at intersections and speed limits in urban settings be obeyed.

(JAMA 1987;258:1487-1490)