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.

Related Articles


“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 January 26, 2015 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 January 26, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Matter & Energy News

Monday, January 26, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Obama Reveals Nuclear Breakthrough on Landmark India Trip

Obama Reveals Nuclear Breakthrough on Landmark India Trip

Reuters - News Video Online (Jan. 25, 2015) In a glow of bonhomie, U.S. President Barack Obama and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi unveil a deal aimed at unlocking billions of dollars in nuclear trade. Pavithra George reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
NTSB: Missing Planes' Black Boxes Should Transmit Wirelessly

NTSB: Missing Planes' Black Boxes Should Transmit Wirelessly

Newsy (Jan. 23, 2015) In light of high-profile plane disappearances in the past year, the NTSB has called for changes to make finding missing aircraft easier. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Iconic Metal Toy Meccano Goes Robotic

Iconic Metal Toy Meccano Goes Robotic

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Jan. 22, 2015) Classic children&apos;s toy Meccano has gone digital, releasing a programmable kit robot that can be controlled by voice recognition. The toymakers say Meccanoid G15 KS is easy to use and is compatible with existing Meccano pieces. Jim Drury reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
The VueXL From VX1 Immersive Smartphone Headset!

The VueXL From VX1 Immersive Smartphone Headset!

Rumble (Jan. 22, 2015) The VueXL from VX1 is a product that you install your smartphone in and with the magic of magnification lenses, enlarges your smartphones screen so that it&apos;s like looking at a big screen TV. Check it out! Video provided by Rumble
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

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