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Safety Issues During Transit

Safety while Driving

Most services still respond to a scene with the use of lights and sirens, but once you are on scene and the patient is loaded, you should seriously consider whether or not to use them while en route to the hospital.

► Lights and sirens should never be used to transport a nonemergent patient.

You should only use them when your patient's condition commands it. The EMT/Paramedic in the back with the patient should make that decision carefully.

Safety Within the Unit

When caring for a patient while in transit it is important to consider the complications that active road transport can introduce in the safe care of a patient. The bumps and sudden changes in direction make it unsafe to stand and maneuver around the unit while in transit; avoid unbelting yourself unless an absolutely critical situation arises. 

All interventions should be initiated prior to transit, the moving environment of the unit in transit increases the risk of complications and decreases the chance of success for many interventions. This includes placing automatic compression devices (LUCAS or LifeBand), starting IV's, placing a patient on oxygen, or stabilizing fractures/impaled objects.

Always ensure that all equipment within the unit is secured for transit, put away all equipment or ensure it is located on the floor of the unit, ensure all overhead compartments are closed/locked and verify that the stretcher is properly secured to the floor.