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1.
Open Access Emerg Med ; 14: 249-272, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1951799

ABSTRACT

This study aimed to analyze prehospital Emergency Medical Services (EMS) response to the COVID-19 pandemic in the US through a brief systematic review of available literature in context with international prehospital counterparts. An exploration of the NCBI repository was performed using a search string of relevant keywords which returned n=5128 results; articles that met the inclusion criteria (n=77) were reviewed and analyzed in accordance with PRISMA and PROSPERO recommendations. Methodical quality was assessed using critical appraisal tools, and the Egger's test was used for risk of bias reduction upon linear regression analysis of a funnel plot. Sources of heterogeneity as defined by P < 0.10 or I^2 > 50% were interrogated. Findings were considered within ten domains: structural/systemic; clinical outcomes; clinical assessment; treatment; special populations; dispatch/activation; education; mental health; perspectives/experiences; and transport. Findings suggest, EMS clinicians have likely made significant and unmeasured contributions to care during the pandemic via nontraditional roles, ie, COVID-19 testing and vaccine deployment. EMS plays a critical role in counteracting the COVID-19 pandemic in addition to the worsening opioid epidemic, both of which disproportionately impact patients of color. As such, being uniquely influential on clinical outcomes, these providers may benefit from standardized education on care and access disparities such as racial identity. Access to distance learning continuing education opportunities may increase rates of provider recertification. Additionally, there is a high prevalence of vaccine hesitancy among surveyed nationally registered EMS providers. Continued rigorous investigation on the impact of COVID-19 on EMS systems and personnel is warranted to ensure informed preparation for future pandemic and infectious disease responses.

2.
BMC Health Serv Res ; 22(1): 595, 2022 May 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1951204

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Being responsive and adaptive to local population needs is a key principle of integrated care, and traditional top-down approaches to health system governance are considered to be ineffective. There is need for more guidance on taking flexible, complexity-aware approaches to governance that foster integration and adaptability in the health system. Over the past two decades, paramedics in Ontario, Canada have been filling gaps in health and social services beyond their traditional mandate of emergency transport. Studying these grassroots, local programs can provide insight into how health systems can be more integrated, adaptive and responsive. METHODS: Semi-structured interviews were conducted with people involved in new, integrated models of paramedic care in Ontario. Audio recordings of interviews were transcribed and coded inductively for participants' experiences, including drivers, enablers and barriers to implementation. Thematic analysis was done to ascertain key concepts from across the dataset. RESULTS: Twenty-six participants from across Ontario's five administrative health regions participated in the study. Participants described a range of programs that included acute, urgent and preventative care driven by local relationship networks of paramedics, hospitals, primary care, social services and home care. Three themes were developed that represent participants' experiences implementing these programs in the Ontario context. The first theme, adapting and being nimble in tension with system structures, related to distributed versus central control of programs, a desire to be nimble and skepticism towards prohibitive legal and regulatory systems. The second theme, evolving and flexible professional role identity, highlighted the value and challenges of a functionally flexible workforce and interest in new roles amongst the paramedic profession. The third theme, unpredictable influences on program implementation, identified events such as the COVID-19 pandemic and changing government priorities as accelerating, redirecting or inhibiting local program development. CONCLUSIONS: The findings of this study add to the discourse on governing health systems towards being more integrated, adaptive and responsive to population needs. Governance strategies include: supporting networks of local organizational relationships; considering the role of a functionally flexible health workforce; promoting a shared vision and framework for collaboration; and enabling distributed, local control and experimentation.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , Delivery of Health Care , Humans , Ontario , Qualitative Research
3.
Australas Emerg Care ; 2022 May 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1819430

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: This study seeks to explore the impact of COVID-19 outbreak on the social support perception and acute stress disorder of prehospital care providers (PCPs) in the province of Denizli. METHODS: This descriptive and cross-sectional study was conducted between December 25, 2020 and January 25, 2021. Out of 510 ambulatory care staff constituting the study population, there were 287 PCPs (%56.2), including 13 physicians, 89 paramedics, 134 emergency medical technicians, and 51 individuals from other occupational groups (nurse, driver, cleaning staff, medical secretary) based at emergency health services. The data collection tools employed in the study include an introductory information form, Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support (MSPSS), and National Stressful Events Survey Acute Stress Disorder Short Scale (NSESSS), which was organized as an online questionnaire. RESULTS: We analyzed the data from 287 PCPs that completed the form and scales. The mean score of the NSESSS was calculated as 1.53 ± 0.79. The PCPs who experienced health problems (1.85 ± 0.69), suffered from mental problems and received psychotherapy and medication (2.57 ± 0.57), encountered COVID-19 patients (1.58 ± 0.8), provided care for COVID-19 patients (1.59 ± 0.79), and took polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests (1.68 ± 0.78) had higher acute stress symptom levels. The total mean score of MSPSS was calculated as 66.28 ± 17.22. Total MSPSS scores of the participants varied significantly in terms of age, marital status, taking a COVID-19 test, suffering from mental problems, status of encountering a COVID-19 patient, and workplace satisfaction (p < 0.05). CONCLUSIONS: The findings are suggestive of high perceptions of multidimensional social support and low acute stress symptom levels of the PCPs during the COVID-19 pandemic period.

4.
Med Pr ; 73(3): 241-250, 2022 Jun 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1811413

ABSTRACT

The pandemic caused a change in the way of providing healthcare services, limiting direct access to doctors, suspending planned treatments and medical consultations, but despite the risks and restrictions, the medical rescue system as a key element of health care for the society continues to function. The system provides medical assistance to patients in the most severe condition, both with a negative result for SARS-CoV-2, as well as with a positive or undiagnosed result. It is a review aimed at analyzing the most important psychological aspects of the work of emergency medical care system personnel during the COVID-19 pandemic. PubMed, Cochrane Library, and Google Scholar search were used to analyze the problem. The following keywords were used to search for information sources: paramedic, work, emergency medical care system, emergency department, ambulance service, COVID-19, pandemic, SARS-CoV-2, coronavirus. The articles were selected in terms of the psychological aspects of the work of the emergency medical care system personnel during the pandemic in 2020-2021. The psychosocial problems that come to the fore during a pandemic include increased levels of stress, anxiety, depression, burnout, emotional exhaustion, vicarious traumatization, and post-traumatic stress disorder. In the context of the increased risk of psychological problems due to pandemic, it is necessary to provide psychological support to the medical staff, both in terms of psychological support for the entire team and individually. Med Pr. 2022;73(3):241-50.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Anxiety/etiology , Anxiety/psychology , COVID-19/epidemiology , Health Personnel/psychology , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
5.
3rd International Conference on Research and Academic Community Services, ICRACOS 2021 ; : 61-65, 2021.
Article in English | Scopus | ID: covidwho-1759087

ABSTRACT

The East Java region is a red zone area for COVID-19 cases. The number of patients being treated has an impact on the performance of medical personnel. Medical personnel gets tired easily and many of them die. To overcome this problem, a Paramedic Assistant Robot was designed. The methods used in designing this paramedical assistant robot are as follows: 1) Model design stage, 2) Determine electrical unit, 3) Determine communication unit and robot network, 4) Determine robot mechanical unit, 5) overall manufacturing process unit, 5) assembly process, 6) Robot function test. The result of each generation of feature development from 1.0 to 3.0 improved significantly. For maneuvering, from remote control and joystick to an autonomous system. This means that artificial intelligence is also increasing. The 3.0 generation robot is divided into two robots, namely robots for service and robots for monitoring. The 1.0 generation robots do not have to measure instruments, while the 2.0 and 3.0 generation robots have both integrated and separate measuring instruments. © 2021 IEEE.

6.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 19(5)2022 03 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1732021

ABSTRACT

Patients with COVID-19 who require aerosol-generating medical procedures (such as endotracheal intubation) are challenging for paramedic services. Although potentially lifesaving for patients, aerosolizing procedures carry an increased risk of infection for paramedics, owing to the resource limitations and complexities of the pre-hospital setting. In this paper, we describe the development, implementation, and evaluation of a novel pre-hospital COVID-19 High-Risk Response Team (HRRT) in Peel Region in Ontario, Canada. The mandate of the HRRT was to attend calls for patients likely to require aerosolizing procedures, with the twofold goal of mitigating against COVID-19 infections in the service while continuing to provide skilled resuscitative care to patients. Modelled after in-hospital 'protected code blue' teams, operationalizing the HRRT required several significant changes to standard paramedic practice, including the use of a three-person crew configuration, dedicated safety officer, call-response checklists, multiple redundant safety procedures, and enhanced personal protective equipment. Less than three weeks after the mandate was given, the HRRT was operational for a 12-week period during the first wave of COVID-19 in Ontario. HRRT members attended ~70% of calls requiring high risk procedures and were associated with improved quality of care indicators. No paramedics in the service contracted COVID-19 during the program.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Emergency Medical Services , Emergency Medical Technicians , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Humans , Ontario/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2
7.
International Journal of Emergency Services ; 2022.
Article in English | Scopus | ID: covidwho-1672508

ABSTRACT

Purpose: The study aimed to (1) determine on what bases paramedics in this context have defined themselves as feeling safe or at risk while serving on the front lines and (2) develop recommendations to support paramedics in their critical public health emergency response role. Design/methodology/approach: This qualitative study consisted of 21 semi-structured interviews with primary care paramedics (PCPs), advanced care paramedics (ACPs) and critical care paramedics (CCPs) with first-hand experience responding to the COVID-19 pandemic in Ontario. Qualitative research is best suited to the research objectives of gaining detailed and nuanced understandings of paramedics' experiences during this public health emergency, and identifying in paramedics' accounts what changes to policy and practice might strengthen their sense of safety in future infectious disease outbreaks (Bowling, 2002;Chafe, 2017). Data collection occurred over the course of 3.5 months, from June 2020 until September 2020. Findings: Participants described several factors that heightened their feeling exposed to risk particular to working on the front lines of the COVID-19 public health response. These factors include stress connected to personal protective equipment (PPE) and equipment access, risks of infection to self and family, communications and feelings of being systematically under-considered. Recommendations from this research include, but are not limited to, ensuring a more equitable distribution of protective equipment to paramedics across unevenly funded services, and recognizing paramedics face unique and additional stressors in public health emergencies. Research limitations/implications: A key limitation of this study was the relatively small sample, with 50% of potential participants deciding not to engage in an interview. The authors suspect this is likely a result of timing, as this was conducting during significant periods of the COVID-19 pandemic in Ontario. The study identifies and begins to shed light on the way in which feelings of compromised safety and specific stressors in a public health emergency context connect to one another and potentially increase risks of burnout for this healthcare provider group. This study's documentation of paramedics feeling uncertainty about their own and their family's safety, combined with feeling occupational pressure, decisional pressure within constrained frameworks of care delivery, a lack of autonomy and a lack of consideration within their healthcare system in general and within its pandemic response in particular, is important in and of itself. These stressors can have serious implications for the ability of paramedics to sustain their integral role in public health emergency response. Practical implications: A series of pandemic-specific and generalizable recommendations emerged from this research and in collaboration with community-based medical leadership. (1) Consult paramedics on effectiveness of screening questions and equipment. Be sure to illicit and respond to paramedic feedback in a timely manner. (2) Implement operational changes during pandemics in the form of donning and doffing stations, disposable gowns, decontamination teams at hospitals, infectious disease paramedic (IDP) truck, anti-fog sprays for goggles, and safe and controlled areas for eating and taking breaks. (3) Develop an emergency pandemic plan that is resourced and maintained as part of EMS strategic planning. Involve EMS in decisions related to health system emergency planning and sustainability of EMS practice. (4) Establish equitable distribution of resources, such as ensuring PPE is distributed equitably and applying pandemic pay equally to all essential workers. (5) Validate and respect EMS, as they are essential workers. Recognize the expertise of paramedics and community healthcare providers. Finally, an overarching recommendation at the core of this research is the consideration for paramedic knowledge as expertise given their role as critical front line healthcare specialists and the protection of t is crucial human resource as it relates to their resilience and mental wellbeing. Social implications: Evidence-based awareness and improved understanding of paramedic stress during the pandemic is a first step to developing strategies to reduce that stress. This is essential in ensuring access to this essential service during emergencies and the safety of the communities they serve. Originality/value: Findings from this study can inform development of supports to sustain paramedic wellbeing during public health emergencies, during the ongoing pandemic, in Ontario and beyond. © 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited.

8.
Journal of Complementary Medicine Research ; 12(3):132-137, 2021.
Article in English | Web of Science | ID: covidwho-1580024

ABSTRACT

Introduction: The sudden outbreak of the new coronavirus disease (Covid-19) may lead to job burnout due to this disease in paramedics and hospital guards. In this regard, the present study was conducted to evaluate and compare job burnout due to Covid-19 in paramedics and guards of educational hospitals of Semnan University of Medical Sciences in Semnan, Iran. Materials and Methods: In this cross-sectional descriptive-analytical study, 129 paramedics and guards of Kowsar and Amir Al-Momenin hospitals were assessed in terms of job burnout using the Maslach Burnout Inventory (1981). The collected data were analyzed using SPSS software. Results: In this study, it was shown that emotional exhaustion was more frequent in female paramedics and male guards with a positive history of Covid-19. Also, in terms of depersonalization, the staff of Kowsar hospital, especially the paramedics, had a higher score compared to Amir Al-Momenin Hospital. Also, a significant relationship was observed between the subscale of lack of personal success and the history of Covid-19 (P<0.05);In those who did not have a history of Covid- 19, the level of this subscale was reported to be lower. Discussion: The results of the present study demonstrated that there is a significant relationship between job burnout and anxiety of coronavirus infection among paramedics and hospital guards;So that the mental and physical abilities of employees, especially in the health sector, have been affected by the outbreak of Covid-19. Therefore, more attention should be paid to hospital staff in these disease conditions.

10.
BMC Emerg Med ; 21(1): 124, 2021 10 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1486055

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The goal of every emergency department is to provide the highest quality services in the shortest time using limited resources. However, occupational violence is so prevalent among pre-hospital paramedic personnel that some experts claim that it is impossible to find pre-hospital personnel without an experience of violence in the workplace. Therefore, it seems necessary to investigate the causes of violence among this population group and find ways to control it. AIM: The present study aimed to investigate the Violence and influencing factors among paramedic pre-hospital personnel. METHOD: This qualitative study was conducted to explore the views of a group of pre-hospital paramedic personnel (n = 45) selected through purposive sampling. The data was collected through in-depth and semi-structured interviews and analyzed using Graneheim and Lundman's conventional content analysis methods. The trial version of MAXQDA 16 software was used to manage the coding process. RESULTS: Based on the results of the analysis of data collected from prehospital paramedic personnel, three main categories including: human factors, organizational factors, and environmental factors and 20 subcategories were detected. CONCLUSION: If authorities neglect violence in the workplace and do not take serious actions to prevent it, violence and, more importantly, "hostility" will gradually prevail in the workplace. It also increases the stress and anxiety of staff and consequently severely deteriorates their job performance. Hence, authorities are strongly recommended not to ignore this issue and, instead, take measures, for instance hold workshops, to train personnel about the techniques of anger and violence control.


Subject(s)
Workplace Violence , Allied Health Personnel , Hospitals , Humans , Iran , Personnel, Hospital
11.
Anaesthesist ; 70(8): 655-661, 2021 Aug.
Article in German | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1453678

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: During the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic in spring 2020, the entire emergency rescue system was confronted with major challenges. Starting on 15 March, all tourists were asked to leave the State of Tyrol, Austria. The main goal of the efforts was to ensure the usual quality of emergency medical care while reducing the physical contact during emergency interventions on site. METHODS: The Austrian Emergency Medical Service is physician-based, meaning that in addition to an ambulance team, an emergency physician (EP) is dispatched to every potential life-threatening emergency call. In Tyrol and starting on 17 March 2020, 413 types of emergency call dispatches, which were addressed with an ambulance crew as well as an EP crew before COVID-19, were now dispatched only with an ambulance crew. This procedure of dispatching differently as well as the general development of emergency calls during this period were analyzed from 15 March to 15 May 2020 and compared to the data from the same time period from 2017 to 2019. RESULTS: Despite the reduction of the population of around 30% because of absent tourists and foreign students staying in Tyrol, emergency calls with the operational keyword "difficulty in breathing/shortness of breath" rose by 18.7% (1533 vs. 1291), while calls due to traffic incidents decreased by 26.4% (2937 vs. 2161). Emergency calls with the dispatch of teams with an EP were reduced by 38.5% (1511 vs. 2456.3), whereby the NACA scores III and IV were the ones with the significant reduction of 40% each. For the reduced dispatchs, the additional dispatch of an EP team by the ambulance team amounted to 14.5%; however, for the keywords "unconscious/fainting" and "convulsions/seizures" the additional dispatch was significantly higher with over 40% each. DISCUSSION: There was an overall reduction of emergency calls. Considering, that the reduced dispatches would have led to an EP team dispatch the overall emergency doctor dispatches would have been higher than in the years before. Our study was not able to find the reasons for this increase. Only considering the additional dispatching of EPs, was this reduction in dispatching EP teams highly accurate, except for the symptoms of "unconscious/fainting" and "convulsions/seizures"; however, the actual diagnoses that the hospitals or GPs made could not be collected for this study. Therefore, it cannot be said for sure that there was equality in the quality of emergency medical care. CONCLUSION: It was possible to achieve the primary goal of reducing the physical contact with patients; however, before keeping these reductions of the dispatching order regarding. EPs for the routine operation, adaptions in these reductions as well as deeper evaluations under consideration of the data from hospitals and GPs would be necessary. Also, different options to reduce physical contact should be evaluated, e.g. building an EMT-led scout team to evaluate the patient's status while the EP team is waiting outside.


Subject(s)
Ambulances , COVID-19 , Emergency Medical Services , Austria , Emergency Medical Services/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Pandemics , Physicians , Triage
12.
Br Paramed J ; 6(2): 34-39, 2021 Sep 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1431268

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Exceptional demands have been placed on paramedics and other healthcare workers (HCWs) during the COVID-19 pandemic. An overwhelming outpouring of public support has unfolded, bringing into focus the relationship between paramedics, other HCWs and society, where they are portrayed as heroes. Scholars have studied the notion of heroism to society, and characteristics of such heroic status include: the voluntary nature of a heroic act, risk of physical or social harm, willingness to accept the consequences of action, acting for the benefit of others and without the expectation of gain. While some HCWs and paramedics may reflect these characteristics, many may not. Such heroic narratives can be damaging, stifling meaningful discussion around limits to duties, failing to acknowledge the importance of reciprocity and potentially imposing demands on paramedics and HCWs to be heroic. AIM: This article prospectively presents the protocol for a metasynthesis which aims to identify, appraise and synthesise the qualitative literature in order to develop theory on heroism and paramedic practice. METHODS: Evolved grounded theory methodology is followed along with the procedural guidelines of Noblit and Hare (1988) to guide the analysis. The Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-analysis Protocols (PRISMA-P) have also been adopted when preparing this protocol and will be followed in the study proper. The protocol has been registered with the International Prospective Register of Systematic Reviews PROSPERO 2021, registration number CRD42021234851. RESULTS: We do not currently have results, but PRISMA guidelines will be followed when reporting our findings. CONCLUSION: Current narratives on heroism and paramedic practice are important in terms of the relationship between paramedics and society. The metasynthesis prospectively reported in this article serves as the first point in our journey of making sense of and developing theory on heroism and paramedic practice.

14.
J Am Coll Emerg Physicians Open ; 2(4): e12543, 2021 Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1366230

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: Our objective was to identify research priorities to understand the impact of COVID-19 on initial emergency medical services (EMS) education. METHODS: We used a modified Delphi method with an expert panel (n = 15) of EMS stakeholders to develop consensus on the research priorities that are most important and feasible to understand the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on initial EMS education. Data were collected from August 2020 to February 2021 over 5 rounds (3 electronic surveys and 2 live virtual meetings). In Round 1, participants submitted research priorities over 9 specific areas. Responses were thematically analyzed to develop a list of research priorities reviewed in Round 2. In Round 3, participants rated the priorities by importance and feasibility, with a weighted score (2/3*importance+1/3*feasibility) used for preliminary prioritization. In Round 4, participants ranked the priorities. In Round 5, participants provided their agreement or disagreement with the group's consensus of the top 8 research priorities. RESULTS: During Rounds 1 and 2, 135 ideas were submitted by the panel, leading to a preliminary list of 27 research priorities after thematic analysis. The top 4 research priorities identified by the expert panel were prehospital internship access, impact of lack of field and clinical experience, student health and safety, and EMS education program availability and accessibility. Consensus was reached with 10/11 (91%) participants in Round 5 agreeing. CONCLUSIONS: The identified research priorities are an important first step to begin evaluating the EMS educational infrastructure, processes, and outcomes that were affected or threatened through the pandemic.

15.
J Emerg Nurs ; 47(3): 487-502, 2021 May.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1237751

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: Emergency preparedness is a developing specialty with a limited evidence base. Published literature primarily offers a retrospective view of experience, with few studies examining and understanding the individual lived experience of practitioners prospectively. This study explores paramedics' lived experience of emergency preparedness and applies that learning. METHODS: Thirteen paramedics were recruited through purposive sampling. Face-to-face semi-structured interviews explored their individual experiences of emergency preparedness, in line with the idiographic focus of Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis. RESULTS: Through data analysis, the following superordinate themes were identified for further discussion: self-determination, control, and experience-based practice. Participants appeared to value their role and the unpredictable environment in which they worked. Personal resilience, an area that they suggested is not covered effectively within individual preparation, was viewed as important. The participants articulated that risk, threat, uncertainty, safety, trust, and control were important concepts within individual preparedness. These paramedics valued practice-based knowledge and education as credible and transferrable to their clinical work. CONCLUSION: Evidence from this study suggests that standard emergency preparedness, with the focus at organizational level, is not sufficient for the individual workers or for an overall effective response. Dimensions of individual preparedness are presented, with the paramedic central to the experience within a conceptual model (the DiEP model), creating a new form of emergency preparedness that reflects the individual paramedic's experience.


Subject(s)
Civil Defense , Emergency Medical Services , Emergency Medical Technicians , Allied Health Personnel , Educational Status , Humans , Retrospective Studies
16.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 18(9)2021 05 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1223993

ABSTRACT

The First Responder ECHO (Extension for Community Outcomes) program was established in 2019 to provide education for first responders on self-care techniques and resiliency while establishing a community of practice to alleviate the enormous stress due to trauma and substance misuse in the community. When the SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) pandemic hit the United States (US) in March 2020, a tremendous strain was placed on first responders and healthcare workers, resulting in a program expansion to include stress mitigation strategies. From 31 March 2020, through 31 December 2020, 1530 unique first responders and frontline clinicians participated in the newly expanded First Responder Resiliency (FRR) ECHO. The robust curriculum included: psychological first aid, critical incident debriefing, moral distress, crisis management strategies, and self-care skills. Survey and focus group results demonstrated that, while overall stress levels did not decline, participants felt more confident using psychological first aid, managing and recognizing colleagues who needed mental health assistance, and taking time for self-care. Although first responders still face a higher level of stress as a result of their occupation, this FRR ECHO program improves stress management skills while providing weekly learning-listening sessions, social support, and a community of practice for all first responders.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Emergency Responders , Health Personnel , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
17.
Notf Rett Med ; : 1-6, 2021 Apr 22.
Article in German | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1202769

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: As a response to the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic, extensive contact restrictions were imposed by law in Germany as in other European countries. The present study intends to clarify the effect of these restrictions on emergency medical service (EMS) operations. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Retrospective chart review of EMS operation protocols over the first 6 months of 2020 (n = 6668 rescue missions) in four rescue stations in eastern Lower Saxony (Germany). Description and statistical comparison of operations 6 weeks before the restrictions with an equally long period after the order of the restrictions ("lockdown"). RESULTS: During the 6 weeks after the lockdown the frequency of rescue operations decreased by 17.7%. In particular, there was a 40.6% (n = 91) decrease of emergency cases with respiratory diseases, mainly due to a decline of pneumonia and exacerbated chronic-obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). At the same time, patients' mean age increased with fewer patients under 65 years. There were no changes in the frequency of psychiatric disorders, deceased or injured patients, or refusal of treatment and transport. A total of 67 patients with suspected or confirmed SARS-CoV­2 infection (1.0%) were observed during this period. DISCUSSION: EMS experienced a reduction of operations as a result of contact restrictions, although not as pronounced as was recently described for emergency rooms. This supports the hypothesis that the reduction is particularly evident in less severe cases and in younger patients. The reduction in pneumonia and COPD cases is striking. On the one hand, this could indicate that contact restrictions reduce the incidence of other respiratory infections and their impact on chronic respiratory disorders, but it could also mean that patients try to avoid hospital treatment.

18.
Notf Rett Med ; 24(7): 1033-1042, 2021.
Article in German | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-808207

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: It has been shown throughout the COVID-19 pandemic that the condition of a number of patients deteriorates acutely when not monitored. This is set against an increased demand for emergency medical services and the resulting scarcity of resources, which makes it necessary to prioritise inpatient treatment or ensure that patients are provided with appropriate outpatient care. In this context, the Berlin Fire Department has introduced emergency paramedic investigators (NotSan-Erkunder) as an additional operating resource. METHODOLOGY: We assessed all operations from 28.03.2020 to 28.04.2020 during which Emergency Paramedic Investigators of the Berlin emergency services were deployed. A total of 341 operations were included from the 31 days. Alongside data from the dispatch system, all operational documentation was assessed. RESULTS: In 57% of cases, mNACA II patients (outpatient treatment) were identified, in 42% of cases, mNACA III patients (inpatient treatment) were identified, and in 1% of cases, mNACA IV (imminent danger to life) patients were identified. In 51% of cases, the emergency services transported the patient to a hospital, and in 49%, alternative care measures were employed. These included referral to a local physician in 28% of cases. In 11% of cases, patients were referred to on-call services of the Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians (KV in German). In 4% of cases, the Berlin Fire Department emergency dispatch center deployed a physician of the KV (KV-ARE investigator). DISCUSSION: The results show that additional operational resources serve an important function during a pandemic with regards to an initial assessment and pilot function. This can help relieve not only the emergency services but also the medical facilities responsible for providing further care. The standardised dispatch enquiry enables the linking with the appropriate codes from the low-priority operational spectrum and support by a Tele-emergency physician lends additional professional competency to the emergency paramedics.

19.
Resusc Plus ; 4: 100027, 2020 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-756850

ABSTRACT

Managing out-of-hospital cardiac arrest requires paramedics to perform multiple aerosol generating medical procedures in an uncontrolled setting. This increases the risk of cross infection during the COVID-19 pandemic. Modifications to conventional protocols are required to balance paramedic safety with optimal patient care and potential stresses on the capacity of critical care resources. Despite this, little specific advice has been published to guide paramedic practice. In this commentary, we highlight challenges and controversies regarding critical decision making around initiation of resuscitation, airway management, mechanical chest compression, and termination of resuscitation. We also discuss suggested triggers for implementation and revocation of recommended protocol changes and present an accompanying paramedic-specific algorithm.

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