Mmmmmm. Cocoa Puffs! Did you know that the cacao extract in this popular breakfast cereal has some sort of effect on cancer and surgery? Nor did we. But the fraudulent journals thought it did… 17 of them to be exact. Or how about the EMS staple: The rigid, long spineboard? How did it become the protector of our fragile spine decades ago, and now is all but completely banished in the more progressive EMS systems?
EMS has progressed a lot in the last few years, stepping up from “ambulance attendants” to finally receiving recognition as medical professionals where earned. Prehospital research played a major role in this transformation from ambulance drivers to practitioners. But with the ease in finding information right at our fingertips (literally), it’s important for all EMTs and paramedics to understand the different types of studies out there that can influence protocol development and even the politics influencing prehospital practices.