Police involvement in pediatric prehospital care

L. M. Sinclair, M. D. Baker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

One hundred fourteen emergency medical services agencies and 76 police chiefs throughout the United States were prospectively surveyed to ascertain the current utilization of police personnel within the prehospital care system. More than three fourths (77%) of the surveys mailed were completed. Respondents indicated the following: (1) a majority (92%) of police personnel were trained in cardiopulmonary resuscitation and basic first aid, (2) only half (57%) of police were trained in moving or transporting patients, and (3) few (36%) police were provided ongoing training in emergency pediatric medical skills. In spite of this, police were reportedly present at calls activating emergency medical services systems between 24% and 69% of the time, and the majority of these were trauma related. Police chiefs surveyed indicated that their officers played a large role in medical management prior to arrival of emergency medical services personnel; 87% would initiate cardiopulmonary resuscitation and 93% would begin basic first aid. Sixty-one percent of police chiefs indicated that officers would occasionally 'scoop and run' with a critically ill child rather than await emergency medical services arrival. The data indicate that, right or wrong, police personnel are actively involved in their prehospital care system at present. In many instances, their help may be needed. Further thought should be given toward defining an exact emergency medical services role for police personnel and toward providing adequate initial and ongoing basic medical training for these individuals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)636-641
Number of pages6
JournalPediatrics
Volume87
Issue number5 I
StatePublished - Jan 1 1991
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • emergency medical services
  • police
  • prehospital care
  • transport

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

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