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Am J Emerg Med ; 53: 285.e1-285.e5, 2022 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1432719


STUDY OBJECTIVES: COVID-19 brought unique challenges; however, it remains unclear what effect the pandemic had on violence in healthcare. The objective of this study was to identify the impact of the pandemic on workplace violence at an academic emergency department (ED). METHODS: This mixed-methods study involved a prospective descriptive survey study and electronic medical record review. Within our hospital referral region (HRR), the first COVID-19 case was documented on 3/11/2020 and cases peaked in mid-November 2020. We compared the monthly HRR COVID-19 case rate per 100,000 people to the rate of violent incidents per 1000 ED visits. Multidisciplinary ED staff were surveyed both pre/early-pandemic (April 2020) and mid/late-pandemic (December 2020) regarding workplace violence experienced over the prior 6-months. The study was deemed exempt by the Mayo Clinic Institutional Review Board. RESULTS: There was a positive association between the monthly HRR COVID-19 case rate and rate of violent ED incidents (r = 0.24). Violent incidents increased overall during the pandemic (2.53 incidents per 1000 visits) compared to the 3 months prior (1.13 incidents per 1000 visits, p < .001), as well as compared to the previous year (1.24 incidents per 1000 patient visits, p < .001). Survey respondents indicated a higher incidence of assault during the pandemic, compared to before (p = .019). DISCUSSION: Incidents of workplace violence at our ED increased during the pandemic and there was a positive association of these incidents with the COVID-19 case rate. Our findings indicate health systems should prioritize employee safety during future pandemics.

COVID-19/psychology , Emergency Service, Hospital/statistics & numerical data , Workplace Violence/statistics & numerical data , Academic Medical Centers/organization & administration , Academic Medical Centers/statistics & numerical data , Adult , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/transmission , Chi-Square Distribution , Crime Victims/rehabilitation , Data Mining/statistics & numerical data , Emergency Service, Hospital/organization & administration , Female , Health Personnel/psychology , Health Personnel/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Prospective Studies , Surveys and Questionnaires , Workplace Violence/trends
Prehosp Disaster Med ; 36(2): 131-134, 2021 Apr.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1164739


BACKGROUND: Although first responders (FRs) represent a high-risk group for exposure, little information is available regarding their risk of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) infection. The purpose of the current study was to determine the serological prevalence of past COVID-19 infection in a cohort of municipal law enforcement (LE) and firefighters (FFs). METHODS: Descriptive analysis of a de-identified data reporting Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) immunoglobulin G (IgG), or COR2G, serology results for municipal FRs. As part of the serology process, FRs were surveyed for COVID-19-like symptoms since February 2020 and asked to report any prior COVID-19 nasal swab testing. Descriptive statistics and two-sided Chi Square tests with Yates correction were used to compare groups. RESULTS: Of 318 FRs, 225 (80.2%) underwent serology testing (LE: 163/207 [78.7%]; FF: 92/111 [82.9%]). The prevalence of positive serology for all FRs tested was 3/255 (1.2%). Two LE (1.2%) and one FF (1.1%) had positive serology (P = 1.0). Two hundred and twenty-four FRs responded to a survey regarding prior symptoms and testing. Fifty-eight (25.9%) FRs (44 LE; 14 FFs) reported the presence of COVID-19-like symptoms. Of these, only nine (15.5%) received reverse transcriptase - polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) testing; none were positive. Two of the three FRs with positive serology reported no COVID-19-like symptoms and none of these responders had received prior nasal RT-PCR swabs. The overall community positive RT-PCR rate was 0.36%, representing a three-fold higher rate of positive seroprevalence amongst FRs compared with the general population (P = .07). CONCLUSIONS: Amongst a cohort of municipal FRs with low community COVID-19 prevalence, the seroprevalence of SARS-CoV-19 IgG Ab was three-fold greater than the general community. Two-thirds of positive FRs reported a lack of symptoms. Only 15.5% of FRs with COVID-19-like symptoms received RT-PCR testing. In addition to workplace control measures, increased testing availability to FRs is critical in limiting infection spread and ensuring response capability.

Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/epidemiology , Emergency Responders , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Pneumonia, Viral/blood , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Adult , COVID-19 Testing , Female , Humans , Male , Minnesota/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , SARS-CoV-2 , Seroepidemiologic Studies