Concern Network The Concern Network shares verified information to alert medical transport programs when an accident/incident has occurred. Both air and ground programs are encouraged to participate. If you have questions, contact CONCERN Coordinator David Kearns at (800)-525-3712 or www.concern-network.org.
October 26, 2011 While a team from Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Transport (Cincinnati, OH) was returning from an outlying emergency department via the interstate with a pediatric patient in respiratory distress, the Freightliner M2-Braun Ambulance crested a small hill and found traffic stopped ahead. The ambulance was operating without lights and sirens (non-emergent mode) and began to slow. At approximately 30 mph, the emergency medical technician-paramedic (EMT-P) noticed a black car approaching from the rear in the outside lane. This vehicle could not slow in time and impacted an SUV from behind and deflected into the ambulance on the driver’s side. All crewmembers heard and felt the impact into the ambulance. The ambulance activated the emergency lights and proceeded to the right shoulder of the roadway. The weather was overcast and not a factor. The EMT-P disembarked the ambulance and proceeded to the rear of the vehicle to see whether anyone in the patient compartment was injured. With no immediate crew or patient injuries noted, the EMT-P began to evaluate the occupants of the other vehicles. The RN continued to care for the patient, while the RT contacted the communications center to report the accident. The transport coordinator immediately activated the Post Accident Incident Plan procedure and contacted local authorities to report the incident. Transport team management and senior hospital leadership were notified within minutes. With only minor damage to the ambulance and no injuries noted with the other vehicle occupants, insurance information was exchanged, and the transport resumed because the patient was still having respiratory distress. The ambulance departed the scene as local emergency medical services and fire arrived. While en route, the decision was made to have the patient evaluated in our pediatric trauma center. On arrival to the trauma center, the patient was evaluated and admitted for respiratory distress. The mother was transferred by another service to be evaluated in an adult trauma center for complaints of neck pain and headache. The team members involved in the accident were removed from service and reported their injuries per hospital protocol. One team member was placed on light-duty for back stiffness.
crewmembers, management, and the transport coordinator from the communications center. An email was sent to all transport team staff to alert them of the accident.
Additional Information At the onset of the transport, the mother had insisted on being transported with the patient on the stretcher, as other local ambulance services had allowed this in the past. The crewmembers followed established protocols and did not allow the mother to be transported on the stretcher. The patient was secured on the stretcher in a rear-facing car seat, while the crew and mother were seated and belted on the ambulance. All equipment was properly secured during the accident. The RN’s seatbelt came unbuckled during the accident. It was replaced by the ambulance maintenance facility. Additional injuries were prevented by all equipment being secured appropriately, patient secured in 5-point restraint, and all crew and parent being secured by seat belts (crew followed existing policies).
Post-accident Follow-up Immediately after the accident, the ambulance was taken out of service to be inspected by our ambulance maintenance facility. All patient care equipment was inspected by the hospital’s clinical engineering department. A debriefing took place shortly after the incident, which included the March-April 2012