Epidemiology of pediatric transports and non-transports in an urban emergency medical services system

Nirupama Kannikeswaran, Prashant V. Mahajan, Robert B. Dunne, Scott Compton, Stephen R. Knazik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Objective. This study was done to describe an urban, Emergency Medical Service (EMS) system's experiences with pediatric patients and the rate and characteristics of non-transports in this setting. Methods. A retrospective analysis of all pediatric patients responded to by the Detroit Fire Department Division of EMS between January 1, 2002 and August 30, 2002 was done. Results. There were 5,976 pediatric EMS cases. Children 10 years of age or older accounted for 49.4% of transports, 53.8% of all patients had medical illness, and 38.8% of the patients belonged to the non-urgent category. A large percentage of patients were not transported (27.2%), most commonly secondary to parent/caregiver/patient refusals. The median number of minutes on-scene for refusals was longer than for transports (23.5 vs. 17.3, respectively)[difference = 6.2 minutes (95% CI: 5.6-6.9)]. The odds ratios (OR) for refusal was highest for assaults (2.09; 95% CI: 1.66-2.63), difficulty in breathing (1.38; 95% CI: 1.14-1.68), and motor vehicle accidents (1.19; 95% CI: 1.04-1.37). Conclusions. In this system, the majority of pediatric patients are not severely ill, and a large number are not transported. Non-transports are more likely to be young adolescents, have been involved in assaults, and have a longer on-scene time.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)403-407
Number of pages5
JournalPrehospital Emergency Care
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2007


  • Emergency Medical Services
  • Interventions
  • Pediatric
  • Transports versus non-transports


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