Work-related musculoskeletal disorders and injuries among emergency medical technicians and paramedics: A comprehensive narrative review

Rivi Friedenberg, Leonid Kalichman, David Ezra, Oren Wacht, Deborah Alperovitch-Najenson
Archives of Environmental & Occupational Health 2020 October 19, : 1-9
The aim of this article was to review the current knowledge relating to work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WRMDs) and non-fatal injuries in emergency medical technicians and paramedics (EMTs-Ps). A literature search was conducted in PubMed, Google Scholar, and Clinical Key. The annual prevalence of back pain ranged from 30% to 66%, and back injuries and contusions from 4% to 43%. Falls, slips, trips, and overexertion while lifting or carrying patients or instruments ranged from 10% to 56%, with overexertion being the most common injury. Risk factors were predominantly lifting, working in awkward postures, loading patients into the ambulance, and cardiopulmonary resuscitation procedures. Lack of job satisfaction and social support was associated with WRMDs and injuries. EMTs-Ps had the highest rate of worker compensation claim rates compared to other healthcare professionals. Positive ergonomic intervention results included electrically powered stretchers, backboard wheeler, descent control system, and the transfer sling.

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