The ethics of ambulance ramping

Perry, Matthew ORCID: 0000-0003-2638-7496 and Carter, Drew (2017) The ethics of ambulance ramping. Emergency Medicine Australasia, 29 (1). pp. 116-118. doi:10.1111/1742-6723.12625

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Ramping is the practice of requiring paramedics to continue to care for patients rather than hand over clinical responsibility to the ED. It arose as an alternative to admitting patients to EDs that are deemed to be already operating at or beyond capacity. This paper analyses the ethics of ramping. Ramping has been embraced by some ED practitioners and policymakers as a solution to the problem of ED patients suffering increased risks of harm as a result of waiting times within ED. However, this perspective fails to adequately consider the implications, especially the opportunity cost of requiring paramedics to remain at the hospital rather than make themselves available for other patients. From this perspective, ramping negatively impacts the wider provision of emergency medical services, with potentially serious consequences for people's health. Advocates of ramping must consider people in the community who require a medical emergency response.

Item Type: Article
Article Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Ambulance; Emergency department; Ethics; Paramedic; Ramping
Related URLs:
Subjects: R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA960 Medical centers. Hospitals. Dispensaries. Clinics Including ambulance service, nursing homes, hospices
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > School of Health and Social Care
Research Priority Areas: Society and Learning
Depositing User: Susan Turner
Date Deposited: 25 Mar 2019 17:07
Last Modified: 27 Jul 2023 14:50

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