March 22, 2007

GM partners with medical association the to improve emergency crash response

Washington, D.C. – The GM Foundation has announced a partnership with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the CDC Foundation to develop procedures that will help emergency medical responders to better and more quickly determine if a motorist needs care at a trauma centre after a vehicle crash.

CDC will convene a panel of more than 20 emergency medical physicians, trauma surgeons, and public safety and vehicle safety experts to review real-time crash data from OnStar’s Advanced Automatic Crash Notification telematics system, and similar systems from other countries. The panel meetings will be funded by a US$250,000 grant from OnStar and the GM Foundation, but as a federal agency, CDC does not promote or endorse specific products.

Systems such as OnStar use crash data from sensors, including crash severity information, direction of impact, airbag deployment, multiple impacts and, if properly equipped with appropriate sensors, a rollover, and send the information to advisors who can relay the information to emergency dispatchers. The information helps dispatchers to quickly determine the appropriate combination of emergency personnel, equipment and medical facilities needed.

“Time is a critical factor in trauma care,” says Dr. David Cone, president of the National Association of EMS Physicians. “The goal is to develop evidence-based protocols that will allow the emergency medical community to effectively use automotive telemetry data to assist in reducing morbidity and mortality through faster patient identification, diagnosis and treatment.”

Traffic safety and emergency medical experts say data from vehicle telematic systems may be especially important in rural or isolated areas, where there may not be passersby to report a crash, or the level of trauma centre required is too far away to treat the injuries sustained. Although crashes in rural areas account for only 20 per cent of total annual crashes in the U.S., they account for 60 per cent of fatalities.

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