Monday, March 19, 2012

9 in 10 firefighters suffer PTSD

A new study out of New Ben-Gurion University in Israel shows that 9 in 10 firefighters showed symptoms of PTSD (24%) or partial PTSD (67%).

The study was conducted by Dr. Marc Lougassi, who is not just a doctoral student at the university but is also a firefighter himself. It examined 342 active Israeli firefighters who had been exposed to traumatic events since 1997. The study excluded any firefighters with histories of psychiatric treatment or chronic pain, as well as anyone who had suffered a head injury.

According to Dr. Lougassi, "Professional firefighters are frequently exposed to extreme stress during their work in emergency situations. In addition to the physical challenges of firefighting, they must evacuate burned and injured victims or bodies. Their involvement in traumatic events exposes them not only to the pressures stemming from the traumatic event itself, but also to post-traumatic emotional expressions that result in secondary traumatization."

In addition to "normal" firefighter duties, Lougassi said that firefighters in Israel are frequently "exposed to additional traumas such as war and terror strikes."

It is unclear if Lougassi's study was published in a scientific journal or if it was just announced by the university.

Read more:

Ninety Percent of Firefighters Exhibit Symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

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