Evidence-Based Guidelines (EBG) for Fatigue Risk Management in EMS

The National Association of State EMS Officials (NASEMSO) partnered with the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine to develop “Evidence- Based Guidelines (EBG) for Fatigue Risk Management in Emergency Medical Services” published in the journal Prehospital Emergency Care inJanuary 2018. The aim of the guidelines is to mitigate the effects of fatigue with recommendations based on a comprehensive evaluation of the best available evidence related to numerous fatigue mitigation strategies. Now, as an adjunct to the guidelines, NASEMSO and Pitt have joined forces to produce an Implementation Guidebook to complement the scientific papers with a condensed summary of each recommendation and sample policy statement templates that may be tailored/edited to the needs of local agencies. 

Fatigue is a threat to the safety of EMS personnel, their patients, and the public. The odds of injury, medical error, patient adverse events, and safety compromising behaviors are higher among fatigued EMS personnel than non-fatigued personnel. Ambulance crashes, line of duty deaths, and patient mortality have been linked to sleep and fatigue of EMS personnel.

Full access to “Evidence Based Guidelines for Fatigue Risk Management in Emergency Medical Services” is available online in Prehospital Emergency Care at https://tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/10903127.2017.1376137.  All companion materials, including background information, systematic reviews, evidence tables, and expert commentaries are also available.

Work performed on this guidebook was supported with funding from the U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to NASEMSO. The information, views, and/or opinions contained in this guidebook/document are those of the authors and not necessarily those of NHTSA.

The Guidebook can be downloaded at www.emsfatigue.org