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Prehosp Disaster Med. 2007 Jul-Aug;22(4):335-41; discussion 342.

Police officer response to the injured officer: a survey-based analysis of medical care decisions.

Author information

1
Department of Emergency Medicine, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota 55901, USA. sztajnkrycer.matthew@mayo.edu

Abstract

INTRODUCTION:

No widely accepted, specialized medical training exists for police officers confronted with medical emergencies while under conditions of active threat. The purpose of this study was to assess medical decision-making capabilities of law enforcement personnel under these circumstances.

METHODS:

Web-based surveys were administered to all sworn officers within the county jurisdiction. Thirty-eight key actions were predetermined for nine injured officer scenarios, with each correct action worth one point. Descriptive statistics and t-tests were used to analyze results.

RESULTS:

Ninety-seven officers (65.1% response rate) responded to the survey. The majority of officers (68.0%) were trained to the first-responder level. Overall mean score for the scenarios was 15.5 +/- 3.6 (range 7-25). A higher level of medical training (EMT-B/P versus first responder) was associated with a higher mean score (16.6 +/- 3.4, p = 0.05 vs. 15.0 +/- 3.6, p = 0.05). Tactical unit assignment was associated with a lower score compared with non-assigned officers (13.5 +/- 2.9 vs. 16.0 +/- 3.6, p = 0.0085). No difference was noted based upon previous military experience. Ninety-two percent of respondents expressed interest in a law enforcement-oriented advanced first-aid course.

CONCLUSIONS:

Tactical medical decision-making capability, as assessed through the nine scenarios, was sub-optimal. In this post 9/11 era, development of law enforcement-specific medical training appears appropriate.

PMID:
18019102
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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