Objectives To determine the etiology of emergency medical services (EMS) activations in 2011 to public buildings, places of recreation or sport, and health care facilities involving children aged 5 to 18 years in Pennsylvania. Methods Electronic records documenting 2011 EMS activations as provided by the Pennsylvania Department of Health's Bureau of EMS were reviewed. Data elements (demographics, dispatch complaint, mechanism of injury, primary assessment) from patients aged 5 to 18 years involved in an EMS response call originating from either a public building, a place of recreation and sport, or health care facility were analyzed. Results A total of 12,289 records were available for analysis. The most common primary assessments from public buildings were traumatic injury, behavioral/psychiatric disorder, syncope/fainting, seizure, and poisoning. The most common primary assessments from places of recreation or sport were traumatic injury, syncope/fainting, altered level of consciousness, respiratory distress, and abdominal pain. The most common primary assessments from health care facilities were behavioral/psychiatric disorder, traumatic injury, abdominal pain, respiratory distress, and syncope/fainting. When examining the mechanism of injury for trauma-related primary assessments, falls were the most common mechanism at all 3 locations, followed by being struck by an object. Of the 1335 serious-incident calls (11% of the total EMS activations meeting inclusion criteria), 61.2% were from public buildings, 14.1% from places of recreation or sport, and 24.7% from health care facilities. Conclusions Our identification of common EMS dispatch complaints, mechanisms of injury, and primary assessments can be used in the education of staff and preparation of facilities for medical emergencies and injuries where children spend time.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Emergency Medicine