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Fatigue in EMS Risk Management Guidelines GO LIVE!!!

Jan 18, 2018

The number of fatigue-related safety incidences involving EMS personnel and their patients is on the rise. Recent research shows that more than half of emergency medical services (EMS) personnel report severe mental and physical fatigue while at work, poor sleep quality, and poor recovery between shifts. Half of EMS personnel obtain less than 6 hours of sleep per day. The industry has a fatigue problem, yet few have developed solutions informed by the evidence or best practice.

The National Association of State EMS Officials (NASEMSO) has partnered with a team led by University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine scientists to develop new fatigue guidelines published early online in the journal Prehospital Emergency Care (CLICK HERE for press release). The aim of the guidelines is to mitigate the effects of fatigue with recommendations based on a comprehensive evaluation of the best available evidence related to numerous fatigue mitigation strategies such as using caffeine and napping during shifts.

The guidelines consist of five recommendations:
• Use of fatigue/sleepiness surveys to measure and monitor EMS personnel fatigue.
• Limit EMS shifts to less than 24 hours in duration.
• Provide EMS personnel access to caffeine to help stave off fatigue.
• Allow EMS personnel the opportunity to nap while on duty.
• Provide education and training in fatigue risk management to EMS personnel.

CLICK HERE to view the entire Fatigue Risk Management Guidelines for EMS.