Table 5

Trauma clinician perceptions of police transport

ThemeExemplar quote
 Faster than EMS‘The most rapid transport you are going to have… the police are on patrol, even on busy nights, they always head for gunshots whenever they hear them.’
 Life saving‘I will tell you that I personally have taken care of patients that in my mind, no doubt, would have died if the police hadn’t transported them.’
Trauma nurses
 Personal safety risks‘There is so much risk. Guns we find in back of cop cars. They are not being searched.’
 Public safety risks‘How fast are they driving through these neighborhoods? They are going through red lights and stuff. … There has been documented accidents. The police, I do not want to undermine what they do. It is a tough scenario.’
 Patients’ safety risks‘There is a lot of adrenaline. The cops want to get this person to the ER because they know that does save lives occasionally. So, they are going extremely fast with generally a patient who is unable to protect himself.’
 Patient extraction from police vehicles‘The patients are underneath seats; they are underneath the benches in the back of the paddy wagons. I am having to jump into these cars.’
 Occupational hazards for police‘Police officers do not have the blood borne pathogen training.’
Trauma surgeons
 Lack of notification‘We either have 2 to 5 minutes notification, or no notification.’
 Impact on trauma team response‘It increases the number of the people who are in the trauma bay, which also I think increases the chaos, increases the noise, decreases the team’s ability to function well together.’
 Inappropriate triage and transports‘I have never told a police officer they shouldn’t have brought a patient in because I don’t want to send the wrong message, but I have had concerns about blunt trauma patients being brought in. Those patients arguably might benefit from EMS… and just to be clear when I said that EMS cannot do a lot for the penetrating patient, neither could I, if I was there.’
  • EMS, emergency medical services.