Scientific study finds Paramedics unnecessary, layoffs imminent

A recent study by the Boothill foundation found that for most communities having EMS workers trained to the level of paramedic is not necessary. The study will be published in the Journal of Pre-Hospital Care and Emergency Response Professionals Quarterly.

Ambulance DriverThis study was conducted by having researchers review the run reports for a six-month period from a random sample of city EMS services. Before the run reports were submitted to the Boothill Foundation all patient information was removed. The scientists were only allowed access to the description of skills used by the EMS workers.

The results were startling.

85% of calls required only the most basic of skills (providing O2 or taking a BP)

8% of calls required an intermediate level of skill (applying pressure to a wound)

5% of calls require a high level of skill (start an IV or use the Defib unit)

2% of calls require the advanced skills of a paramedic (push drugs, tracheal intubation)

The implications of this study are far reaching. Some in the EMS profession are suggesting that many cities can do away with their paramedics to save money. Staffing ambulances with EMTs, paid at a lower rate, will save many cities a lot of money.

In addition the study makes a recommendation on how to still handle the 2% of calls that need advanced skills. The study calls for having an ambulance post at the local ER. Then when real emergency calls come in, an ER doctor and nurse can ride the ambulance to the scene. This according to the authors will actually be better for patients in the field as they will be in the care of a doctor that much faster.

Journal of Pre-Hospital Care and Emergency Response Professionals Quarterly will publish this article in their next edition. That edition is sent out to subscribers in July.

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