Date of Award

January 2016

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Medical Doctor (MD)

Department

Medicine

First Advisor

Sandy Bogucki

Abstract

EMERGENCY MEDICAL SERVICES UTLIZATION AND INTERVENTIONS BY PARAMEDICS DURING A BLIZZARD.

Shalom Sokolow (Sponsored by Sandy Bogucki). Department of Emergency Medicine, Yale University, School of Medicine, New Haven, CT.

On February 8th, 2013, southern Connecticut was struck by a powerful blizzard. Emergency Medical Services (EMS) crews experienced significantly increased call volume along with increased response and transport times. This study examined which types of EMS calls increased or decreased during the storm and whether paramedics performed more or fewer advanced life support (ALS) interventions.

EMS calls were differentiated by call type and analyzed to determine which types increased or decreased significantly during the blizzard. Then electronic patient care reports were searched for interventions by paramedics and analyzed to determine whether calls with interventions increased or decreased.

During the storm, average calls per day increased from 196 to 249 (p=0.001). Statistically significant increases (p<0.05) were seen for the following call types: abdominal pain, breathing problems, carbon monoxide, diabetic problems, pregnancy, cardiac calls, and unknown type. The rate at which transporting paramedic units performed an intervention decreased during the storm but this decrease was not statistically significant (p=0.09).

The findings may suggest that the higher EMS call volume was due to an increase in lower acuity patients without a corresponding increase in higher acuity patients. Planning for future blizzards therefore may best be met with increased staffing of emergency medical technicians without an increase in paramedic personnel or equipment.

Comments

This thesis is restricted to Yale network users only. It will be made publicly available on 12/31/2019

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