12. Occupational Illness and Injury in Prehospital Care Personnel

  1. Michael I. Greenberg MD, MPH, FAAEM, FACPM, FACOEM
  1. Derek L. Isenberg MD, NREMT-P and
  2. Carin M. Van Gelder MD

Published Online: 18 FEB 2011

DOI: 10.1002/9781444329629.ch12

Occupational Emergency Medicine

Occupational Emergency Medicine

How to Cite

Isenberg, D. L. and Van Gelder, C. M. (2011) Occupational Illness and Injury in Prehospital Care Personnel, in Occupational Emergency Medicine (ed M. I. Greenberg), Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781444329629.ch12

Editor Information

  1. Drexel University College of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA, USA

Author Information

  1. Department of Emergency Medicine, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, USA

  1. Adapted in part from Van Gelder CM, West K. Prehospital exposure to communicable diseases and postexposure prophylaxis. In: Bass R, Brice J, Delbridge T, Gunderson M, eds. Medical Oversight of EMS, vol 2: Cone DC, Fowler R, O'Connor RE, eds. Emergency medical services: clinical practice and systems oversight. Dubuque, IA: Kendall Hunt Publishing; 2009:397-410. ©National Association of EMS Physicians, Olathe, KS; all rights reserved. Reprinted with permission.

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 18 FEB 2011
  2. Published Print: 11 FEB 2011

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781405180719

Online ISBN: 9781444329629



  • emergency medical services;
  • emergency medical technician;
  • paramedic;
  • prehospital care;
  • ambulance;
  • infectious disease exposure


Emergency medical technicians and paramedics are the backbone of the emergency medical services (EMS) system. Because of the physical nature of their work, unpredictable calls, and irregular hours, emergency medical technicians and paramedics are at high risk for occupational injuries. In this chapter we discuss occupational issues affecting EMS providers, including hearing loss, mental health and stress, violence against EMS providers, ambulance crashes, aeromedical transport crashes, accidental discharge of epinephrine auto-injectors, and exposure to infectious diseases.