Brett Patterson

Brett Patterson

Best Practices

By Brett Patterson


Should a bike fall be coded using Protocol 30 in the Medical Priority Dispatch System (MPDS)? The word fall doesn’t end in Protocol 17.

Should kite surfers and cross bikes also be treated in Protocol 30 because the fall length can be an issue? They easily jump higher than 3 meters (9.8 feet).

When two bikers in the same lane coming from opposite directions crash into each other, this could be a very high impact accident. The average speed of a biker is 20 kilometers per hour (12.0 mph). There are people dying from these types of accidents.

Should this be an indication for Protocol 29? However, the Key Question doesn’t seem to fit.

Paul Engelen

Technical Consultant

Priority Dispatch Corp.

Amsterdam, Netherlands


Protocol 30: Traumatic Injuries (Specific) generally handles specific injuries from bicycle accidents better than Protocol 17: Falls, unless the cyclist is hit by a car. In this case, the high mechanism of injury calls for the more appropriate code on Protocol 29: Traffic/Transportation Incidents.

In v13.0 of the MPDS there is a new definition and code on P30 called HIGH VELOCITY Impact/MASS Injury that an EMD can select when concerned about the speed or other mechanism involved in a bike accident.

As for the kite surfer, Protocol 17 should be selected for LONG or EXTREME falls due to the mechanism of injury.

It sounds like the people in the Netherlands are very active and adventurous!

Let me know if this reply helps.

Brett Patterson

Academics & Standards Associate

Medical Council of Standards Chair

Hi Brett:

Thanks for your fast reply; it’s all clear now.

MPDS v13.0 will solve a lot of challenges. I hope it’s released soon.

To give you some nice figures (source Dutch National Bikers Union):

• One-quarter of all the movements below 7.5 kilometers (4.6 miles) are done on a bicycle. This totals 4.5 billion bicycle rides per year. A total of 15 billion kilometers are traveled per year.

• On average, every Dutchman has 300 rides and travels a total of 878 kilometers (545.6 miles) each year. 13.5 million Dutchmen have a bike (80 percent) and 16.8 million people live in the Netherlands.

• In the city, travelling by bike at speeds greater than 3 kilometers/hour (1.9 miles/hour) is 5 percent faster than travelling by car.

• We have almost 35,000 kilometers (21,748 miles) of bike lanes.

• In 1998, 144,000 bikes were reported stolen.

• In 2000, 900,000 bikes were reported stolen.

• No matter where an accident between a car and a bike takes place, the biker is by law always protected and the driver of the car is always responsible.