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West J Emerg Med ; 23(4): 570-578, 2022 Jul 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20237020


INTRODUCTION: Unvaccinated emergency medical services (EMS) personnel are at increased risk of contracting coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and potentially transmitting the virus to their families, coworkers, and patients. Effective vaccines for the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 virus exist; however, vaccination rates among EMS professionals remain largely unknown. Consequently, we sought to document vaccination rates of EMS professionals and identify predictors of vaccination uptake. METHODS: We conducted a cross-sectional survey of North Carolina EMS professionals after the COVID-19 vaccines were widely available. The survey assessed vaccination status as well as beliefs regarding COVID-19 illness and vaccine effectiveness. Prediction of vaccine uptake was modeled using logistic regression. RESULTS: A total of 860 EMS professionals completed the survey, of whom 74.7% reported receiving the COVID-19 vaccination. Most respondents believed that COVID-19 is a serious threat to the population, that they are personally at higher risk of infection, that vaccine side effects are outweighed by illness prevention, and the vaccine is safe and effective. Despite this, only 18.7% supported mandatory vaccination for EMS professionals. Statistically significant differences were observed between the vaccinated and unvaccinated groups regarding vaccine safety and effectiveness, recall of employer vaccine recommendation, perceived risk of infection, degree of threat to the population, and trust in government to take actions to limit the spread of disease. Unvaccinated respondents cited reasons such as belief in personal health and natural immunity as protectors against infection, concerns about vaccine safety and effectiveness, inadequate vaccine knowledge, and lack of an employer mandate for declining the vaccine. Predictors of vaccination included belief in vaccine safety (odds ratio [OR] 5.5, P=<0.001) and effectiveness (OR 4.6, P=<0.001); importance of vaccination to protect patients (OR 15.5, P=<0.001); perceived personal risk of infection (OR 1.8, P=0.04); previous receipt of influenza vaccine (OR 2.5, P=0.003); and sufficient knowledge to make an informed decision about vaccination (OR 2.4, P=0.024). CONCLUSION: In this survey of EMS professionals, over a quarter remained unvaccinated for COVID-19. Given the identified predictors of vaccine acceptance, EMS systems should focus on countering misinformation through employee educational campaigns as well as on developing policies regarding workforce immunization requirements.

COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19 , Emergency Medical Services , Health Personnel , Vaccination , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , COVID-19 Vaccines/adverse effects , COVID-19 Vaccines/supply & distribution , Cross-Sectional Studies , Decision Making , Health Personnel/psychology , Health Personnel/statistics & numerical data , Health Surveys , Humans , Influenza Vaccines/administration & dosage , North Carolina , Occupational Health , Patient Safety , Vaccination/legislation & jurisprudence , Vaccination/psychology , Vaccination/statistics & numerical data
J Spec Oper Med ; 23(2): 60-68, 2023 Jun 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2302461


INTRODUCTION: The coronavirus disease pandemic has pro-foundly affected emergency medical services (EMS) profes-sionals, but the emotional impact is unknown. METHODS: This was a cross-sectional survey of North Carolina EMS profes-sionals from April to May 2021. EMS professionals on an ac-tive roster were included. With pandemic-related perceptions, the 15-item Posttraumatic Maladaptive Beliefs Scale (PMBS) was used to quantify the severity of maladaptive cognition. Significant univariate variables were used to create a hier-archical linear regression to assess the potential impact of pandemic-related factors on maladaptive cognition scores. RESULTS: Overall, 811 respondents were included; of those, 33.3% were female, 6.7% were minorities, and 3.2% were Latinx; the mean age was 41.11 ± 12.42 years. Mean scores on the PMBS were 37.12 ± 13.06 and ranged from 15 to 93. PMBS scores were 4.62, 3.57, and 3.99 points higher, respec-tively, in those with increased anxiety, those who trusted their sources of information, and those who reported to work de-spite being symptomatic. Pandemic-specific factors accounted for 10.6% of the variance in PMBS total scores (ΔR2 = 0.106, ΔF[9, 792]; p < .001). Psychopathological factors accounted for an additional 4.7% of the variance in PMBS total scores (ΔR2 = 0.047, ΔF[3, 789]; p < .001). CONCLUSION: Given that 10.6% of the difference in PMBS scores can be explained by pandemic- related factors, maladaptive cognitions in EMS are a considerable concern and could lead to the development of significant psychopathology post-trauma.

COVID-19 , Emergency Medical Services , Humans , Female , Adult , Middle Aged , Male , Pandemics , Cross-Sectional Studies , COVID-19/epidemiology , Cognition
Journal of burn care & research : official publication of the American Burn Association ; 43(Suppl 1):S107-S107, 2022.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-1782007


Introduction Burn mass casualty incident (BMCI) planning efforts have been in practice and publication for 40+ years. Through these ongoing efforts, we know there are measurable limits to burn center capacity and capability through modeling and real-world events relying on conventional and contingency standards of care, even when the only focus is those patients with burn injuries. The southern region of the American Burn Association (ABA) includes 37 burn centers and continues to play a critical role in the BMCI preparedness process. COVID-19 has emerged as the greatest pandemic in terms of morbidity and mortality since the 1918 influenza pandemic. While COVID-19 has no direct connection to burn injuries, the impact of COVID-19 on the American Healthcare System to include burn care was and remains significant. Methods We conducted a retrospective analysis of (southern) regional data voluntarily submitted to the ABA from March 2020 to June 2021 and generally coincides with the first three waves of the pandemic. We focused on the self-reported data specific to the three critical components in managing a surge of patients: staffing, space, and supplies (to include pharmaceuticals and equipment). Results Staff: These data were collected over a period that coincided with the first three waves seen in the region. Staffing shortages were noted during each of the surges but were most excessive when a regional surge paralleled surges in other parts of the country (November-December 2020). Space Late November and early December 2020, space was in short supply with the surge of patients for more of the region than at any other time during the 28 weeks of reporting. While single facilities reported other episodes of limited space or supplemented with temporary structures, the peak was early December. Supplies As the first surge began to subside, the supply shortages were abated. However, as additional surges occurred, the supply chain had not recovered. Supply shortages were reported in greater numbers than either space or staffing needs through the multiple waves of the pandemic. Conclusions The surge of patients that had to be managed by the greater healthcare community placed a substantial strain on the burn centers to keep beds dedicated for patients with burn injuries. The pandemic directly led to a diminished available capacity for burn care in such a way that it could have compromised our ability to confront a surge of burn-injured patients. Future BMCI planning efforts must consider this aspect of the process. Crisis Standards of Care may come into play during such an event.