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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
Air Med J ; 40(3): 170-174, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1131044


OBJECTIVE: Limited information exists regarding the response of helicopter emergency medical services (HEMS) programs to patients with known or suspected coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The purpose of this study was to determine changes in flight operations during the early stages of the pandemic. METHODS: A survey of the American College of Emergency Physicians Air Medical Section was conducted between May 13, 2020, and August 1, 2020. COVID-19 prevalence was defined as high versus low based on cases > 2,500 or ≤ 2,500. RESULTS: Of the 48 respondents, the majority (89.6%) reported that their patient guidelines had changed because of COVID-19; 89.6% of programs reported transporting COVID-19-positive patients, whereas 91.5% reported transporting persons under investigation. The majority of respondents reported additional training in COVID-19 airway management (79.2%) and personal protective equipment use (93.6%). Permitted aerosol-generating procedures included bilevel positive airway pressure (40.4%) and high-flow nasal oxygen (66.0%). No difference in guideline changes, positive COVID-19/persons under investigation transport restrictions, or permitted aerosol-generating procedures were noted between high- and low-prevalence settings. CONCLUSION: COVID-19 has resulted in changes to HEMS guidelines regardless of local disease prevalence. The pandemic has persisted sufficiently long that data regarding the effectiveness of guideline changes should be analyzed. In the absence of definitive data, national best practices should be developed to guide COVID-19 HEMS transport.

Air Ambulances/statistics & numerical data , Aircraft/statistics & numerical data , COVID-19 , Emergency Medical Services/statistics & numerical data , Transportation of Patients/statistics & numerical data , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Surveys and Questionnaires , United States
Mayo Clin Proc ; 95(12): 2704-2708, 2020 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-866966


Infection by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 has led to cardiac complications including an increasing incidence of cardiac arrest. The resuscitation of these patients requires a conscious effort to minimize the spread of the virus. We present a best-practice model based in four guiding principles: (1) reduce the risk of exposure to the entire health care team; (2) decrease the number of aerosol generating procedures; (3) use a small resuscitation team to limit potential exposure; and (4) consider early termination of resuscitative efforts.

COVID-19/transmission , Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation/methods , Emergency Service, Hospital/organization & administration , Heart Arrest/therapy , COVID-19/complications , Heart Arrest/etiology , Humans , Infection Control/methods , Pandemics , Patient Care Team/organization & administration , Personal Protective Equipment/standards , SARS-CoV-2