Are ambulance drivers exposed to loud siren noise within their ambulances? Identifying the risks involved.
Objective To identify the risk to the ambulance drivers from the siren systems of their rescue vehicles.
Study design This was a cross sectional study.
Place duration This study was carried out at two rescue centres, namely, Gulberg and Johar Town areas of Lahore, where the ambulances were parked.
Methodology A sound pressure meter was used to measure the sound intensity inside and in the vicinity of the ambulance in use. This was done in two centers in Lahore in 10 vehicles.
Result It was evident that the ambulance drivers are constantly exposed to unsuitable and noxious levels of noise which can over time damage their hearing. A recommendation is contributed regarding hearing assessment for ambulance drivers and their compulsory periodical hearing assessment.
The sirens in the Pakistani ambulances have almost the same sound intensity levels as the ones abroad which can have a damaging effect on the inner ear. Pakistani ambulance drivers should wear ear protection while in their vehicles to protect against ear damage.