Unfortunately, as many EMS workers will know and you sadly may have witnessed yourselves, due to the nature of your job there’s a high risk of experiencing work-related injuries and illnesses.
The potential hazards EMS workers face can include:
- Lifting patients and equipment
- Treating patients with infectious illnesses
- Handling hazardous chemical and body substances
- Participating in the emergency transport of patients in ground and air vehicles*
For an increasing number of years, emergency care has exposed EMT’s from minor to severe manual handling injuries. These sort of injuries can cover a range of work-related injuries including deep cuts from sharp objects to musculoskeletal disorders or MSDs.
MSD’s are the most common manual handling injury and can make an EMS worker be off work for months and sometimes may even lead them to needing to retire early because of it.
The financial implications to the Emergency Medical Services of having paramedics off due to work-related illnesses is staggering. In fact, the average cost per case of an EMS worker being off sick is $1,600. *
‘In 2014, there were an estimated 21,300 injuries and illnesses among EMS workers that were treated in U.S. hospital emergency departments.’
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)
Based on NIOSH statistics of 21,300 injuries being reported in 2014, this would mean an overall estimated cost of $34,080,000 and that’s only for the injuries and illnesses reported in the U.S. hospital emergency departments.
By using adequate manual handling equipment and appropriate safety procedures these will significantly reduce the risk of injury to paramedics and EMTs.
The Mangar ELK is an emergency lifting cushion which will reduce the risk of a manual handling injuries by minimizing the need to do so. This lightweight and portable lifting cushion inflates with a push of a button and will raise a patient from the floor to a seated position single-handedly.
Chris Mulberry, an assistant chief paramedic at the Platte Valley Ambulance Service in Colorado explained his experience of using the Mangar ELK.
“The nice part is that it’s not big or heavy, and can be used anywhere,” said Mulberry.
Before using the Mangar ELK, Mulberry explained how his agency used to lift patients manually and how; “EMS people are hard on equipment, but this product is durable and stands up to any EMS use.”
The ELK can be used to lift a patient weighing up to 980 lbs whilst providing a comfortable, safe and dignified lift.
Mangar Health is a world leader in the design, manufacture and supply of inflatable moving and handling equipment and has offices in Rhode Island, US.
To request a free demonstration of the Mangar ELK please click here.
*Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
*Statistics taken from National Association of State EMS Officials 2009