Background The National Emergency Medical Services Information System (NEMSIS) is the repository for data on emergency medical services (EMS) in the United States (US). Standard data elements are collected by local EMS providers, then aggregated at the state level and submitted to the national database. Data from NEMSIS are used to evaluate care delivery, compare regional differences, inform EMS provider training and generate research hypotheses.
Methods Data were accessed using the NEMSIS on-line data cube. Nearly 25.5 million patient care reports were submitted in 2014. The subset of injury events were selected using Type of service = 911 response and Possible injury = Yes.
Results More than 3.3 million records for possible injury events were reported in 2014, with 50% involving females and with 13% involving patients aged 0–19, 50% aged 20–59 and 36% aged 60+. Cause of injury was reported for 72%. Of events with a known cause, falls accounted for 46%, land transport 33%, struck by blunt object 11% and drug poisoning 4%. Age and sex distribution varied by cause of injury. Treatment was provided in 85% of events. Procedures were reported as being performed on 60% of patients. Common procedures included venous access (33%), spinal immobilisation (28%), cardiac monitoring (21%), pulse oximetry (20%), wound care (14%) and splinting (6%). Medications were reported as being given to 19% of patients. For those receiving medications, the most common medications were fentanyl (17%), morphine (10%), ondansetron (10%) and naloxone (2%). Nearly 90% of the treated patients were transported from the scene to a facility.
Conclusions Analysis of NEMSIS data provides insight into the provision of EMS care to injured patients in the US. This data system may serve as a model for other countries in how to capture standard information from prehospital providers. Continued efforts to improve completeness of reporting will enhance the utility of these data for injury research.
- Patient care
- emergency medical services
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