Browse Publications Technical Papers 2001-06-0053
2001-06-04

Development of a dynamic testing procedure to assess crashworthiness of the rear patient compartment of ambulance vehicles 2001-06-0053

Ambulances have different performance needs and structural design compared to standard passenger vehicles. Also occupants in the ambulance rear patient compartment maybe side facing, rear facing or recumbent. There is also no USA dynamic safety standard for testing the ambulance patient compartment occupant or equipment restraint systems. This study describes an accelerator sled test conducted of an ambulance rear cabin environment which demonstrates some optimal restraint practices for pediatric patients and also the interaction between the different occupants and the need for effective restraint systems. The goal of this study was to analyze occupant kinematics and forces generated in a model of an ambulance crash, and to test injury-mitigating countermeasures for both pediatric and adult occupants. The major limitations of this study relate to the deficiencies in the data to define a valid crash test pulse for this ambulance rear cabin vehicle component, in addition to the generalizability of the specific vehicle components tested in this study.
The ambulance transport environment includes predictable and preventable occupant risks. Failure to use current methods of occupant protection and equipment tie-down can result in catastrophic outcomes to all occupants. Occupant kinematics and forces demonstrated that unsecured occupants are a risk to both themselves and also to other occupants. The system used for attaching the CRS to the gurney demonstrated effective restraint for the child occupant. Standards for ambulance occupant safety need to be developed.

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