Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Darkness More Than Triples EMS Helicopter Crash Fatality Risk

Date:
January 24, 2006
Source:
Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health
Summary:
Researchers from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health's Center for Injury Research and Policy and Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, after reviewing National Transportation Safety Board records of EMS helicopter crashes between January 1, 1983, and April 30, 2005, concluded that post-crash fires, darkness or bad weather greatly decrease the likelihood of surviving an emergency medical service (EMS) helicopter crash.

Post-crash fires, darkness or bad weather greatly decrease the likelihood of surviving an emergency medical service (EMS) helicopter crash, according to a study by researchers from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health’s Center for Injury Research and Policyand Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. Improving crashworthiness of helicopters and reducing trips during hazardous conditions can decrease EMS helicopter fatality rates. The study was recently published online by Annals of Emergency Medicine.

“Crashes of EMS helicopters have increased in recent years, raising concern for patients, as well as pilots, paramedics and flight nurses,” said Susan P. Baker, MPH, a professor in the Bloomberg School of Public Health’s Department of Health Policy and Management and Center for Injury Research and Policy. “Our study found that darkness more than triples the risk of fatalities when EMS helicopters crash and that bad weather increases the risk eight-fold. Helicopter EMS programs should recognize these risky conditions and transport patients by air only when the benefit clearly exceeds the risk of the flight.”

The study authors examined National Transportation Safety Board records of EMS helicopter crashes between January 1, 1983, and April 30, 2005. During the 22-year study period, 184 occupants died in 182 EMS helicopter crashes. A majority (77 percent) of crashes occurred when weather conditions required pilots to fly primarily by referencing their instruments rather than using outside visual cues. In darkness, 56 percent of crashes were fatal, as compared with 24 percent of crashes not in darkness. One in four EMS helicopters is likely to crash during 15 years of service. The death rate for EMS flight crew members is 20 times the rate of all U.S. workers.

The researchers also found that 76 percent of the crashes with post-crash fires were fatal. A previous study by Baker and colleagues published in the August 2005 edition of Aviation, Space and Environmental Medicine, revealed that the potential for post-crash fires in survivable crashes was greater in civilian helicopters than in their military counterparts because the standards for civilian fuel systems are not as strict as those for military helicopters.

Additional studies should be conducted to determine which preventive measures—such as equipping pilots with night-vision goggles, reducing night flights by using a protocol to determine which cases absolutely require helicopter transport, using better restraints, energy-absorbing landing gear and seats and crash-resistant fuel systems—are most efficient and cost effective, according to the study authors.

Co-authors of the study are Susan P. Baker, Jurek G. Grabowski, Robert S. Dodd, Dennis F. Shanahan, Margaret W. Lamb and Guohua Li.

“EMS Helicopter Crashes: What Influences Fatal Outcome?” was supported by grants from the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and National Institutes of Health.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health. "Darkness More Than Triples EMS Helicopter Crash Fatality Risk." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 January 2006. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/01/060123161116.htm>.
Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health. (2006, January 24). Darkness More Than Triples EMS Helicopter Crash Fatality Risk. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 16, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/01/060123161116.htm
Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health. "Darkness More Than Triples EMS Helicopter Crash Fatality Risk." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/01/060123161116.htm (accessed April 16, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

German Researchers Crack Samsung's Fingerprint Scanner

German Researchers Crack Samsung's Fingerprint Scanner

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) German researchers have used a fake fingerprint made from glue to bypass the fingerprint security system on Samsung's new Galaxy S5 smartphone. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Porsche CEO Says Supercar Is Not Dead: Cue the Spyder 918

Porsche CEO Says Supercar Is Not Dead: Cue the Spyder 918

TheStreet (Apr. 16, 2014) The Porsche Spyder 918 proves that, in an automotive world obsessed with fuel efficiency, the supercar is not dead. Porsche North America CEO Detlev von Platen attributes the brand's consistent sales growth -- 21% in 2013 -- with an investment in new technology and expanded performance dynamics. The hybrid Spyder 918 has 887 horsepower and 944 lb-ft of torque, but it can run 18 miles on just an electric charge. The $845,000 vehicle is not a consumer-targeted vehicle but a brand statement. Video provided by TheStreet
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ford Mustang Fetes Its 50th Atop Empire State Building

Ford Mustang Fetes Its 50th Atop Empire State Building

AFP (Apr. 16, 2014) Ford celebrated the 50th birthday of its beloved Mustang by displaying a new model of the convertible on top of the Empire State Building in New York. Duration: 00:28 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
New York Auto Show Highlights Latest in Car Tech

New York Auto Show Highlights Latest in Car Tech

AP (Apr. 16, 2014) With more than 1 million visitors annually, the New York International Auto Show is one of the most important shows for the U.S. auto industry. This year's show featured the latest in high technology, and automotive bling. (April 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins