Beyond Survival: The Broader Consequences of Prehospital Transport by Police for Penetrating Trauma

A patient’s survival of penetrative injury is dependent on early medical control of hemorrhaging. Consequently, penetrative injury patients transported to the hospital by EMS personnel have significantly higher chances of survival than those in police transport. A recent study led by PISC Senior Scholar Sara Jacoby, PhD, MPH, RN, External Advisory Board Member Charles Branas, PhD, Executive Committee Member Daniel Holena, MD, and Senor Scholar Elinore Kaufman, MD, MSHP, examined the patient and geographic predictors of police transport.

Data of 7,500 penetrative injury patients between 2006 and 2015 was drawn from the Pennsylvania Trauma Registry. Results indicated that patients who were Black, Hispanic, injured by a firearm, were unconscious, or injured at night were most likely to receive police transport. Patients in police transport usually arrive at the hospital faster than EMS transport. However, patients in police transport reported more pain, insecurity, and health risks than those in EMS transport. Equitable access to EMS transport could significantly improve safety outcomes of penetrative injury victims.

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