NASEMSO releases fatigue in EMS risk management guidelines

The organization teamed up with the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine to mitigate the effects of fatigue with recommendations

By EMS1 Staff

FALLS CHURCH, Va. — Guidelines to mitigate workplace fatigue were released by NASEMSO.

In a news release, the organization announced that they teamed up with the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine to perform a comprehensive evaluation to provide recommendations on how to fight EMS fatigue, such as napping during shifts and using caffeine.

According to NASEMSO, more than half of EMS personnel report severe mental and physical fatigue in the workplace, and half of EMS personnel get less than six hours of sleep a day.

The guidelines recommend five practices:

  • Use of fatigue/sleepiness surveys to measure and monitor EMS personnel fatigue.
  • Limit EMS shifts to less than 24 hours in duration.
  • Provide EMS personnel access to caffeine to help stave off fatigue.
  • Allow EMS personnel the opportunity to nap while on duty.
  • Provide education and training in fatigue risk management to EMS personnel.

The guidelines can be found online, along with background information and expert commentary.

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