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1.
PLoS One ; 17(2): e0263435, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1793529

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTIONS: The rate of acute hand trauma visits to emergency departments (ED) and surgeries decreased during the COVID-19 lockdown. Our aim was to analyze the influence of national lockdown during the first wave and the regional restrictions during the second wave on the rate of visits to the ED and urgent hand surgeries in Finland. METHODS: Material for this retrospective study was gathered from three Finnish hospitals All ED visits and urgent or emergency surgeries from January 2017 to December 2020 were included. Incidences per 100 000 persons with 95% confidence intervals (CI) were calculated and compared by incidence rate ratios (IRR). RESULTS: The incidence of hand injury was lower after the beginning of the lockdown in March 2020 (IRR 0.70 CI 0.63-0.78). After lockdown ended in May, the monthly incidences of ED visits returned to the reference level. During the lockdown, the incidence of fractures and dislocations was 42% lower in March (IRR 0.58 CI 0.50-0.68) and 33% lower in April 2020 (IRR 0.67 CI 0.57-0.80). The incidence of fracture repair surgeries was 43% lower in March 2020 (IRR 0.57 CI 0.35-0.93) and 41% lower in July 2020 (IRR 0.59 CI 0.36-0.98). Incidence of replantation was 49% higher in March 2020 (IRR 1.49 CI 0.53-4.20) and 200% higher in July 2020 (IRR 3.00 CI 0.68-13.2) but these increases had high uncertainty. CONCLUSIONS: The rate of ED visits due to hand injuries decreased while the rate of emergency hand operations remained unchanged during the national COVID-19 lockdown in spring. After the lockdown, the incidences returned to reference level and were unaffected by regional restrictions during the second wave of pandemic.


Subject(s)
Emergency Medical Services/trends , Hand Injuries/epidemiology , Adult , COVID-19 , Emergency Medical Services/statistics & numerical data , Emergency Service, Hospital , Female , Finland/epidemiology , Hand/surgery , Hand Injuries/surgery , Hospitalization , Hospitals , Humans , Incidence , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2
2.
J Am Heart Assoc ; 11(6): e024140, 2022 03 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1731380

ABSTRACT

Background Little is known about how COVID-19 influenced engagement of citizen responders dispatched to out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) by a smartphone application. The objective was to describe and analyze the Danish Citizen Responder Program and bystander interventions (both citizen responders and nondispatched bystanders) during the first COVID-19 lockdown in 2020. Methods and Results All OHCAs from January 1, 2020, to June 30, 2020, with citizen responder activation in 2 regions of Denmark were included. We compared citizen responder engagement for OHCA in the nonlockdown period (January 1, 2020, to March 10, 2020, and April 21, 2020, to June 30, 2020) with the lockdown period (March 11, 2020, to April 20, 2020). Data are displayed in the order lockdown versus nonlockdown period. Bystander cardiopulmonary resuscitation rates did not differ in the 2 periods (99% versus 92%; P=0.07). Bystander defibrillation (9% versus 14%; P=0.4) or return-of-spontaneous circulation (23% versus 23%; P=1.0) also did not differ. A similar amount of citizen responders accepted alarms during the lockdown (6 per alarm; interquartile range, 6) compared with the nonlockdown period (5 per alarm; interquartile range, 5) (P=0.05). More citizen responders reported performing chest-compression-only cardiopulmonary resuscitation during lockdown compared with nonlockdown (79% versus 59%; P=0.0029), whereas fewer performed standardized cardiopulmonary resuscitation, including ventilations (19% versus 38%; P=0.0061). Finally, during lockdown, more citizen responders reported being not psychologically affected by attending an OHCA compared with nonlockdown period (68% versus 56%; P<0.0001). Likewise, fewer reported being mildly affected during lockdown (26%) compared with nonlockdown (35%) (P=0.003). Conclusions The COVID-19 lockdown in Denmark was not associated with decreased bystander-initiated resuscitation in OHCAs attended by citizen responders.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation/statistics & numerical data , Emergency Medical Services/statistics & numerical data , Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest , COVID-19/prevention & control , Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation/methods , Communicable Disease Control , Denmark/epidemiology , Disease Outbreaks , Humans , Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest/epidemiology , Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest/therapy , Retrospective Studies
3.
CMAJ Open ; 10(1): E90-E99, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1687469

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Predicting mortality from COVID-19 using information available when patients present to the emergency department can inform goals-of-care decisions and assist with ethical allocation of critical care resources. The study objective was to develop and validate a clinical score to predict emergency department and in-hospital mortality among consecutive nonpalliative patients with COVID-19; in this study, we define palliative patients as those who do not want resuscitative measures, such as intubation, intensive care unit care or cardiopulmonary resuscitation. METHODS: This derivation and validation study used observational cohort data recruited from 46 hospitals in 8 Canadian provinces participating in the Canadian COVID-19 Emergency Department Rapid Response Network (CCEDRRN). We included adult (age ≥ 18 yr) nonpalliative patients with confirmed COVID-19 who presented to the emergency department of a participating site between Mar. 1, 2020, and Jan. 31, 2021. We randomly assigned hospitals to derivation or validation, and prespecified clinical variables as candidate predictors. We used logistic regression to develop the score in a derivation cohort and examined its performance in predicting emergency department and in-hospital mortality in a validation cohort. RESULTS: Of 8761 eligible patients, 618 (7.0%) died. The CCEDRRN COVID-19 Mortality Score included age, sex, type of residence, arrival mode, chest pain, severe liver disease, respiratory rate and level of respiratory support. The area under the curve was 0.92 (95% confidence interval [CI] 0.90-0.93) in derivation and 0.92 (95% CI 0.90-0.93) in validation. The score had excellent calibration. These results suggest that scores of 6 or less would categorize patients as being at low risk for in-hospital death, with a negative predictive value of 99.9%. Patients in the low-risk group had an in-hospital mortality rate of 0.1%. Patients with a score of 15 or higher had an observed mortality rate of 81.0%. INTERPRETATION: The CCEDRRN COVID-19 Mortality Score is a simple score that can be used for level-of-care discussions with patients and in situations of critical care resource constraints to accurately predict death using variables available on emergency department arrival. The score was derived and validated mostly in unvaccinated patients, and before variants of concern were circulating widely and newer treatment regimens implemented in Canada. STUDY REGISTRATION: ClinicalTrials.gov, no. NCT04702945.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/mortality , Emergency Medical Services/statistics & numerical data , Emergency Service, Hospital , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , Canada/epidemiology , Critical Care/statistics & numerical data , Hospital Mortality , Humans , ROC Curve , Risk Assessment , Risk Factors
4.
Lancet Infect Dis ; 22(1): 35-42, 2022 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1598838

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The SARS-CoV-2 delta (B.1.617.2) variant was first detected in England in March, 2021. It has since rapidly become the predominant lineage, owing to high transmissibility. It is suspected that the delta variant is associated with more severe disease than the previously dominant alpha (B.1.1.7) variant. We aimed to characterise the severity of the delta variant compared with the alpha variant by determining the relative risk of hospital attendance outcomes. METHODS: This cohort study was done among all patients with COVID-19 in England between March 29 and May 23, 2021, who were identified as being infected with either the alpha or delta SARS-CoV-2 variant through whole-genome sequencing. Individual-level data on these patients were linked to routine health-care datasets on vaccination, emergency care attendance, hospital admission, and mortality (data from Public Health England's Second Generation Surveillance System and COVID-19-associated deaths dataset; the National Immunisation Management System; and NHS Digital Secondary Uses Services and Emergency Care Data Set). The risk for hospital admission and emergency care attendance were compared between patients with sequencing-confirmed delta and alpha variants for the whole cohort and by vaccination status subgroups. Stratified Cox regression was used to adjust for age, sex, ethnicity, deprivation, recent international travel, area of residence, calendar week, and vaccination status. FINDINGS: Individual-level data on 43 338 COVID-19-positive patients (8682 with the delta variant, 34 656 with the alpha variant; median age 31 years [IQR 17-43]) were included in our analysis. 196 (2·3%) patients with the delta variant versus 764 (2·2%) patients with the alpha variant were admitted to hospital within 14 days after the specimen was taken (adjusted hazard ratio [HR] 2·26 [95% CI 1·32-3·89]). 498 (5·7%) patients with the delta variant versus 1448 (4·2%) patients with the alpha variant were admitted to hospital or attended emergency care within 14 days (adjusted HR 1·45 [1·08-1·95]). Most patients were unvaccinated (32 078 [74·0%] across both groups). The HRs for vaccinated patients with the delta variant versus the alpha variant (adjusted HR for hospital admission 1·94 [95% CI 0·47-8·05] and for hospital admission or emergency care attendance 1·58 [0·69-3·61]) were similar to the HRs for unvaccinated patients (2·32 [1·29-4·16] and 1·43 [1·04-1·97]; p=0·82 for both) but the precision for the vaccinated subgroup was low. INTERPRETATION: This large national study found a higher hospital admission or emergency care attendance risk for patients with COVID-19 infected with the delta variant compared with the alpha variant. Results suggest that outbreaks of the delta variant in unvaccinated populations might lead to a greater burden on health-care services than the alpha variant. FUNDING: Medical Research Council; UK Research and Innovation; Department of Health and Social Care; and National Institute for Health Research.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/virology , Emergency Medical Services/statistics & numerical data , Hospitalization/statistics & numerical data , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Severity of Illness Index , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/epidemiology , Child , Child, Preschool , Cohort Studies , England/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Proportional Hazards Models , SARS-CoV-2/classification , Young Adult
5.
Lancet Glob Health ; 10(1): e42-e51, 2022 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1586173

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Recent evidence indicates a potential therapeutic role of fluvoxamine for COVID-19. In the TOGETHER trial for acutely symptomatic patients with COVID-19, we aimed to assess the efficacy of fluvoxamine versus placebo in preventing hospitalisation defined as either retention in a COVID-19 emergency setting or transfer to a tertiary hospital due to COVID-19. METHODS: This placebo-controlled, randomised, adaptive platform trial done among high-risk symptomatic Brazilian adults confirmed positive for SARS-CoV-2 included eligible patients from 11 clinical sites in Brazil with a known risk factor for progression to severe disease. Patients were randomly assigned (1:1) to either fluvoxamine (100 mg twice daily for 10 days) or placebo (or other treatment groups not reported here). The trial team, site staff, and patients were masked to treatment allocation. Our primary outcome was a composite endpoint of hospitalisation defined as either retention in a COVID-19 emergency setting or transfer to tertiary hospital due to COVID-19 up to 28 days post-random assignment on the basis of intention to treat. Modified intention to treat explored patients receiving at least 24 h of treatment before a primary outcome event and per-protocol analysis explored patients with a high level adherence (>80%). We used a Bayesian analytic framework to establish the effects along with probability of success of intervention compared with placebo. The trial is registered at ClinicalTrials.gov (NCT04727424) and is ongoing. FINDINGS: The study team screened 9803 potential participants for this trial. The trial was initiated on June 2, 2020, with the current protocol reporting randomisation to fluvoxamine from Jan 20 to Aug 5, 2021, when the trial arms were stopped for superiority. 741 patients were allocated to fluvoxamine and 756 to placebo. The average age of participants was 50 years (range 18-102 years); 58% were female. The proportion of patients observed in a COVID-19 emergency setting for more than 6 h or transferred to a teritary hospital due to COVID-19 was lower for the fluvoxamine group compared with placebo (79 [11%] of 741 vs 119 [16%] of 756); relative risk [RR] 0·68; 95% Bayesian credible interval [95% BCI]: 0·52-0·88), with a probability of superiority of 99·8% surpassing the prespecified superiority threshold of 97·6% (risk difference 5·0%). Of the composite primary outcome events, 87% were hospitalisations. Findings for the primary outcome were similar for the modified intention-to-treat analysis (RR 0·69, 95% BCI 0·53-0·90) and larger in the per-protocol analysis (RR 0·34, 95% BCI, 0·21-0·54). There were 17 deaths in the fluvoxamine group and 25 deaths in the placebo group in the primary intention-to-treat analysis (odds ratio [OR] 0·68, 95% CI: 0·36-1·27). There was one death in the fluvoxamine group and 12 in the placebo group for the per-protocol population (OR 0·09; 95% CI 0·01-0·47). We found no significant differences in number of treatment emergent adverse events among patients in the fluvoxamine and placebo groups. INTERPRETATION: Treatment with fluvoxamine (100 mg twice daily for 10 days) among high-risk outpatients with early diagnosed COVID-19 reduced the need for hospitalisation defined as retention in a COVID-19 emergency setting or transfer to a tertiary hospital. FUNDING: FastGrants and The Rainwater Charitable Foundation. TRANSLATION: For the Portuguese translation of the abstract see Supplementary Materials section.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/drug therapy , Emergency Medical Services/statistics & numerical data , Fluvoxamine/therapeutic use , Hospitalization/statistics & numerical data , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Brazil , Double-Blind Method , Female , Fluvoxamine/adverse effects , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , SARS-CoV-2 , Serotonin Uptake Inhibitors/adverse effects , Serotonin Uptake Inhibitors/therapeutic use , Treatment Outcome
6.
Am J Emerg Med ; 53: 1-5, 2022 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1588529

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: To explore trends and patterns of laypeople's activity for seeking telephone number of emergency medical services (EMS) based on analysis of online search traffic, including changes of the search activity with onset of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak, in five countries - the United States of America (USA), India, Brazil, the United Kingdom (UK) and Russia. METHODS: Google Trends (GT) country-level data on weekly relative search volumes (RSV) for top queries to seek EMS number were examined for January 2018-October 2021, including a comparison of RSVs between pre-COVID-19 period (January 2018-October 2019) and COVID-19 period (January 2020-October 2021), and evaluation of temporal associations of RSVs with weekly numbers of new COVID-19 cases. RESULTS: The countries demonstrated diverse patterns of the search activity with significantly different mean RSVs (the USA 1.76, India 10.20, Brazil 2.51, the UK 6.42, Russia 56.79; p < 0.001). For all countries excepting the USA mean RSVs of the COVID-19 period were significantly higher compared with the pre-COVID-19 ones (India +74%, Brazil +148%, the UK +22%, Russia +9%; p ≤ 0.034), and exhibited positive correlations with numbers of new COVID-19 cases, more pronounced for 2021 (India rS = 0.538, Brazil 0.307, the UK 0.434, Russia 0.639; p ≤ 0.045). CONCLUSION: Laypeople's activity for seeking EMS telephone number greatly varies between countries. It clearly responds to the spread of COVID-19 and could be reflective of public need for obtaining emergency help. Further studies are required to establish the role of GT for conducting real-time surveillance of population demand for EMS.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/psychology , Emergency Medical Services/statistics & numerical data , Hotlines/statistics & numerical data , Information Seeking Behavior , Brazil , COVID-19/therapy , Emergency Medical Services/methods , Hotlines/methods , Humans , India , Russia , United States , Web Browser/statistics & numerical data
7.
BMC Emerg Med ; 21(1): 102, 2021 09 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1533244

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic has had profound effects on the utilization of health care services, including Emergency Medical Services (EMS). Social distancing measures taken to prevent the spread of the disease have greatly affected the functioning of societies and reduced or halted many activities with a risk of injury. The aim of this study was to report the effects of lockdown measures on trauma-related EMS calls in the Finnish capital area. METHODS: We conducted a retrospective cohort study of all EMS calls in the Helsinki University Hospital (HUH) catchment area between 1 January and 31 July 2020. Calls were identified from the HUH EMS database. Calls were grouped into pre-lockdown, lockdown, and post-lockdown periods according to the restrictions set by the Finnish government and compared to the mean number of calls for the corresponding periods in 2018 and 2019. Statistical comparisons were performed using Mann-Whitney U-test for weekly numbers and percentages. RESULTS: During the study period there was a total of 70,705 EMS calls, of which 14,998 (21.2%) were related to trauma; 67,973 patients (median age 61.6 years; IQR 35.3-78.6) were met by EMS. There was no significant change in the weekly number of total or trauma-related EMS calls during the pre-lockdown period. During the lockdown period, the number of weekly total EMS calls was reduced by 12.2% (p = 0.001) and the number of trauma-related calls was reduced by 23.3% (p = 0.004). The weekly number of injured patients met by EMS while intoxicated with alcohol was reduced by 41.8% (p = 0.002). During the post-lockdown period, the number of total and trauma-related calls and the number of injured patients intoxicated by alcohol returned to previous years' levels. CONCLUSIONS: The COVID-19 pandemic and social distancing measures reduced the number of trauma-related EMS calls. Lockdown measures had an especially significant effect on the number of injured patients intoxicated by alcohol met by the EMS. TRIAL REGISTRATION: Not applicable.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Emergency Medical Services , Wounds and Injuries/epidemiology , Communicable Disease Control , Emergency Medical Services/statistics & numerical data , Finland/epidemiology , Humans , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Retrospective Studies
8.
J Thromb Thrombolysis ; 52(4): 1047-1055, 2021 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1525568

ABSTRACT

To estimate the impact on emergency attendance for stroke and acute myocardial infarction (AMI) during the pandemic of COVID-19 in Beijing, China. Based on 17,123 and 8693 emergency attendance for stroke and AMI, an interrupted time-series (ITS) study was conducted. Since 01/24/2020, the top two levels of regulations on major public health have been implemented in Beijing. This study covered from 03/01/2018 to 06/03/2020, including 19 weeks of lockdown period and 99 weeks before. A segmented Poisson regression model was used to estimate the immediate change and the monthly change in the secular trend of the emergency attendance rates. The emergency attendance rates of stroke and AMI cut in half at the beginning of the lockdown period, with 52.1% (95% CI 45.8% to 57.7%) and 63.1% (95% CI 56.1% to 63.1%) immediate decreases for stroke and AMI, respectively. Then during the lockdown period, 7.0% (95% CI 2.5%, 11.6%) and 16.1% (95% CI 9.5, 23.1) increases per month in the secular trends of emergency attendance rates were shown for stroke and AMI, respectively. Though the accelerated increasing rates, there were estimated 1335 and 747 patients with stroke and AMI without seeking emergency medical aid during the lockdown, respectively. The emergency attendance for stroke and AMI cut in half at the beginning of the pandemic then had gradual restoration thereafter. The results hint the need for more engagement and communications with all stakeholders to reduce the negative impact on CVD emergency medical services during the crisis.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Emergency Medical Services/statistics & numerical data , Myocardial Infarction , Stroke , Beijing , Humans , Interrupted Time Series Analysis , Myocardial Infarction/epidemiology , Myocardial Infarction/therapy , Pandemics , Stroke/epidemiology , Stroke/therapy
9.
Public Health Rep ; 136(1_suppl): 72S-79S, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1495836

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: Traditional public health surveillance of nonfatal opioid overdose relies on emergency department (ED) billing data, which can be delayed substantially. We compared the timeliness of 2 new data sources for rapid drug overdose surveillance-emergency medical services (EMS) and syndromic surveillance-with ED billing data. METHODS: We used data on nonfatal opioid overdoses in Kentucky captured in EMS, syndromic surveillance, and ED billing systems during 2018-2019. We evaluated the time-series relationships between EMS and ED billing data and syndromic surveillance and ED billing data by calculating cross-correlation functions, controlling for influences of autocorrelations. A case example demonstrates the usefulness of EMS and syndromic surveillance data to monitor rapid changes in opioid overdose encounters in Kentucky during the COVID-19 epidemic. RESULTS: EMS and syndromic surveillance data showed moderate-to-strong correlation with ED billing data on a lag of 0 (r = 0.694; 95% CI, 0.579-0.782; t = 9.73; df = 101; P < .001; and r = 0.656; 95% CI, 0.530-0.754; t = 8.73; df = 101; P < .001; respectively) at the week-aggregated level. After the COVID-19 emergency declaration, EMS and syndromic surveillance time series had steep increases in April and May 2020, followed by declines from June through September 2020. The ED billing data were available for analysis 3 months after the end of a calendar quarter but closely followed the trends identified by the EMS and syndromic surveillance data. CONCLUSION: Data from EMS and syndromic surveillance systems can be reliably used to monitor nonfatal opioid overdose trends in Kentucky in near-real time to inform timely public health response.


Subject(s)
Analgesics, Opioid/poisoning , Drug Overdose/epidemiology , Emergency Medical Services/statistics & numerical data , Opioid-Related Disorders/epidemiology , Population Surveillance/methods , Public Health Surveillance/methods , Sentinel Surveillance , Analgesics, Opioid/administration & dosage , COVID-19/epidemiology , Drug Overdose/prevention & control , Emergencies/epidemiology , Emergency Medical Services/trends , Humans , Kentucky/epidemiology , Pandemics , Public Health , SARS-CoV-2
10.
Am J Addict ; 30(4): 330-333, 2021 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1494383

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: We sought to understand the impact of COVID-19 on emergency department (ED) overdoses and county coroner verified overdose deaths. METHODS: Electronic medical health record and county coroner data were gathered and comparisons were made between three 16-week time periods. In the three time periods, 873 individuals had an overdose diagnosis in the ED and 440 individuals in the county died of drug overdose. RESULTS: While total ED patient volume decreased substantially, the number of ED overdose patients increased between March 6 and June 25, 2020. Furthermore, during this same period, coroner data revealed an increase in overdose deaths. CONCLUSION AND SCIENTIFIC SIGNIFICANCE: This preliminary evidence provides a key insight into the impact of COVID-19 on both overdose presentations to the ED and county overdose deaths. These results emphasize the critical need for increasing vigilance to prevent overdose by continuously developing and optimizing both accessible and quality treatment as we navigate through this pandemic and its ongoing effects on persons with substance use disorder. (Am J Addict 2021;00:00-00).


Subject(s)
COVID-19/psychology , Drug Overdose/diagnosis , Drug Overdose/mortality , Emergency Medical Services/statistics & numerical data , Substance-Related Disorders/mortality , Adult , COVID-19/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Kentucky/epidemiology , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Socioeconomic Factors
11.
Medicine (Baltimore) ; 100(28): e26634, 2021 Jul 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1494087

ABSTRACT

ABSTRACT: Emergency departments (EDs) are on the frontline of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak. To resolve the abrupt overloading of COVID-19-suspected patients in a community, each ED needs to respond in various ways. In our hospital, we increased the isolation beds through temporary remodeling and by performing in-hospital COVID-19 polymerase chain reaction testing rather than outsourcing them. The aim of this study was to verify the effects of our response to the newly developed viral outbreak.The medical records of patients who presented to an ED were analyzed retrospectively. We divided the study period into 3: pre-COVID-19, transition period of response (the period before fully implementing the response measures), and post-response (the period after complete response). We compared the parameters of the National Emergency Department Information System and information about isolation and COVID-19.The number of daily ED patients was 86.8 ±â€Š15.4 in the pre-COVID-19, 36.3 ±â€Š13.6 in the transition period, and 67.2 ±â€Š10.0 in the post-response period (P < .001). The lengths of stay in the ED were significantly higher in transition period than in the other periods [pre-COVID-19 period, 219.0 (121.0-378.0) min; transition period, 301 (150.0-766.5) min; post-response period, 281.0 (114.0-575.0) min; P < .001]. The ratios of use of an isolation room and fever (≥37.5°C) were highest in the post-response period [use of isolation room: pre-COVID-19 period, 0.6 (0.7%); transition period, 1.2 (3.3%); post-response period, 16.1 (24.0%); P < .001; fever: pre-COVID-19 period, 14.8(17.3%); transition period, 6.8 (19.1%); post-response period, 14.5 (21.9%), P < .001].During an outbreak of a novel infectious disease, increasing the number of isolation rooms in the ED and applying a rapid confirmation test would enable the accommodation of more suspected patients, which could help reduce the risk posed to the community and thus prevent strain on the local emergency medical system.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Disease Outbreaks/statistics & numerical data , Emergency Medical Services/statistics & numerical data , Emergency Service, Hospital/statistics & numerical data , Infection Control/statistics & numerical data , Adult , Aged , Continuity of Patient Care/statistics & numerical data , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Patient Isolation/statistics & numerical data , Republic of Korea , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2
12.
Lancet Glob Health ; 10(1): e42-e51, 2022 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1492864

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Recent evidence indicates a potential therapeutic role of fluvoxamine for COVID-19. In the TOGETHER trial for acutely symptomatic patients with COVID-19, we aimed to assess the efficacy of fluvoxamine versus placebo in preventing hospitalisation defined as either retention in a COVID-19 emergency setting or transfer to a tertiary hospital due to COVID-19. METHODS: This placebo-controlled, randomised, adaptive platform trial done among high-risk symptomatic Brazilian adults confirmed positive for SARS-CoV-2 included eligible patients from 11 clinical sites in Brazil with a known risk factor for progression to severe disease. Patients were randomly assigned (1:1) to either fluvoxamine (100 mg twice daily for 10 days) or placebo (or other treatment groups not reported here). The trial team, site staff, and patients were masked to treatment allocation. Our primary outcome was a composite endpoint of hospitalisation defined as either retention in a COVID-19 emergency setting or transfer to tertiary hospital due to COVID-19 up to 28 days post-random assignment on the basis of intention to treat. Modified intention to treat explored patients receiving at least 24 h of treatment before a primary outcome event and per-protocol analysis explored patients with a high level adherence (>80%). We used a Bayesian analytic framework to establish the effects along with probability of success of intervention compared with placebo. The trial is registered at ClinicalTrials.gov (NCT04727424) and is ongoing. FINDINGS: The study team screened 9803 potential participants for this trial. The trial was initiated on June 2, 2020, with the current protocol reporting randomisation to fluvoxamine from Jan 20 to Aug 5, 2021, when the trial arms were stopped for superiority. 741 patients were allocated to fluvoxamine and 756 to placebo. The average age of participants was 50 years (range 18-102 years); 58% were female. The proportion of patients observed in a COVID-19 emergency setting for more than 6 h or transferred to a teritary hospital due to COVID-19 was lower for the fluvoxamine group compared with placebo (79 [11%] of 741 vs 119 [16%] of 756); relative risk [RR] 0·68; 95% Bayesian credible interval [95% BCI]: 0·52-0·88), with a probability of superiority of 99·8% surpassing the prespecified superiority threshold of 97·6% (risk difference 5·0%). Of the composite primary outcome events, 87% were hospitalisations. Findings for the primary outcome were similar for the modified intention-to-treat analysis (RR 0·69, 95% BCI 0·53-0·90) and larger in the per-protocol analysis (RR 0·34, 95% BCI, 0·21-0·54). There were 17 deaths in the fluvoxamine group and 25 deaths in the placebo group in the primary intention-to-treat analysis (odds ratio [OR] 0·68, 95% CI: 0·36-1·27). There was one death in the fluvoxamine group and 12 in the placebo group for the per-protocol population (OR 0·09; 95% CI 0·01-0·47). We found no significant differences in number of treatment emergent adverse events among patients in the fluvoxamine and placebo groups. INTERPRETATION: Treatment with fluvoxamine (100 mg twice daily for 10 days) among high-risk outpatients with early diagnosed COVID-19 reduced the need for hospitalisation defined as retention in a COVID-19 emergency setting or transfer to a tertiary hospital. FUNDING: FastGrants and The Rainwater Charitable Foundation. TRANSLATION: For the Portuguese translation of the abstract see Supplementary Materials section.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/drug therapy , Emergency Medical Services/statistics & numerical data , Fluvoxamine/therapeutic use , Hospitalization/statistics & numerical data , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Brazil , Double-Blind Method , Female , Fluvoxamine/adverse effects , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , SARS-CoV-2 , Serotonin Uptake Inhibitors/adverse effects , Serotonin Uptake Inhibitors/therapeutic use , Treatment Outcome
13.
Am J Emerg Med ; 51: 64-68, 2022 Jan.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1458554

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: A decline in OHCA performance metrics during the pandemic has been reported in the literature but the cause is still not known. The Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service (MCFRS) observed a decline in both the rate of return of spontaneous circulation (ROSC) and the proportion of resuscitations that resulted in cerebral performance category (CPC) 1 or 2 discharge of the patient beginning in March of 2020. This study examines whether the decline in these performance metrics persists when known COVID positive patients are excluded from the analysis. METHODS: Two samples of OHCA patients for similar time periods (one year apart) before and after the start of the COVID pandemic were developed. A database of known COVID positive patients among EMS encounters was used to identify and exclude COVID positive patients. OHCA outcomes in these two groups were then compared using a Chi-square test and Fisher's exact test for difference in proportions and Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) for difference in means. A two-stage multivariable logistic regression model was used to develop odds ratios for achieving ROSC and CPC 1 or 2 discharge in each period. RESULTS: After excluding known COVID patients, 32.5% of the patients in the pre-COVID period achieved ROSC compared to 25.1% in the COVID period (p = 0.007). 6% of patients in the pre-COVID period were discharged with CPC 1 or 2 compared to 3.2% from the COVID era (p = 0.026). Controlling for all available patient characteristics, patients undergoing OHCA resuscitation prior to be beginning of the pandemic were 1.2 times more likely to achieve ROSC and 1.6 times more likely to be discharged with CPC 1 or 2 than non-COVID patients in the pandemic era sample. CONCLUSIONS: When known COVID patients are excluded, pre-pandemic OHCA resuscitation patients were more likely to achieve ROSC and CPC 1 or 2 discharge. The prevalence of known COVID positive patients among all OHCA resuscitations during the pandemic was not sufficient to fully account for the marked decrease in both ROSC and CPC 1 or 2 discharges. Other causative factors must be sought.


Subject(s)
Benchmarking , Emergency Medical Services/statistics & numerical data , Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest/epidemiology , Patient Discharge/statistics & numerical data , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Analysis of Variance , COVID-19 , Chi-Square Distribution , Female , Humans , Logistic Models , Male , Maryland , Middle Aged , Odds Ratio , Pandemics , Resuscitation , Retrospective Studies , Return of Spontaneous Circulation
14.
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
15.
PLoS One ; 16(9): e0257018, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1394553

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic has presented emergency medical services (EMS) worldwide with the difficult task of identifying patients with COVID-19 and predicting the severity of their illness. The aim of this study was to investigate whether physiological respiratory parameters in pre-hospital patients with COVID-19 differed from those without COVID-19 and if they could be used to aid EMS personnel in the prediction of illness severity. METHODS: Patients with suspected COVID-19 were included by EMS personnel in Uppsala, Sweden. A portable respiratory monitor based on pneumotachography was used to sample the included patient's physiological respiratory parameters. A questionnaire with information about present symptoms and background data was completed. COVID-19 diagnoses and hospital admissions were gathered from the electronic medical record system. The physiological respiratory parameters of patients with and without COVID-19 were then analyzed using descriptive statistical analysis and logistic regression. RESULTS: Between May 2020 and January 2021, 95 patients were included, and their physiological respiratory parameters analyzed. Of these patients, 53 had COVID-19. Using adjusted logistic regression, the odds of having COVID-19 increased with respiratory rate (95% CI 1.000-1.118), tidal volume (95% CI 0.996-0.999) and negative inspiratory pressure (95% CI 1.017-1.152). Patients admitted to hospital had higher respiratory rates (p<0.001) and lower tidal volume (p = 0.010) compared to the patients who were not admitted. Using adjusted logistic regression, the odds of hospital admission increased with respiratory rate (95% CI 1.081-1.324), rapid shallow breathing index (95% CI 1.006-1.040) and dead space percentage of tidal volume (95% CI 1.027-1.159). CONCLUSION: Patients taking smaller, faster breaths with less pressure had higher odds of having COVID-19 in this study. Smaller, faster breaths and higher dead space percentage also increased the odds of hospital admission. Physiological respiratory parameters could be a useful tool in detecting COVID-19 and predicting hospital admissions, although more research is needed.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/diagnosis , Emergency Medical Services/statistics & numerical data , Outpatients/statistics & numerical data , Respiratory Tract Infections/diagnosis , Surveys and Questionnaires , Adult , Aged , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , Female , Hospitalization/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Length of Stay/statistics & numerical data , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Prospective Studies , Respiratory Tract Infections/physiopathology , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Sweden
16.
JAMA Netw Open ; 4(8): e2120728, 2021 08 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1366205

ABSTRACT

Importance: Emergency department (ED) and emergency medical services (EMS) volumes decreased during the COVID-19 pandemic, but the amount attributable to voluntary refusal vs effects of the pandemic and public health restrictions is unknown. Objective: To examine the factors associated with EMS refusal in relation to COVID-19 cases, public health interventions, EMS responses, and prehospital deaths. Design, Setting, and Participants: A retrospective cohort study was conducted in Detroit, Michigan, from March 1 to June 30, 2020. Emergency medical services responses geocoded to Census tracts were analyzed by individuals' age, sex, date, and community resilience using the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Social Vulnerability Index. Response counts were adjusted with Poisson regression, and odds of refusals and deaths were adjusted by logistic regression. Exposures: A COVID-19 outbreak characterized by a peak in local COVID-19 incidence and the strictest stay-at-home orders to date, followed by a nadir in incidence and broadly lifted restrictions. Main Outcomes and Measures: Multivariable-adjusted difference in 2020 vs 2019 responses by incidence rate and refusals or deaths by odds. The Social Vulnerability Index was used to capture community social determinants of health as a risk factor for death or refusal. The index contains 4 domain subscores; possible overall score is 0 to 15, with higher scores indicating greater vulnerability. Results: A total of 80 487 EMS responses with intended ED transport, 2059 prehospital deaths, and 16 064 refusals (62 636 completed EMS to ED transports) from 334 Census tracts were noted during the study period. Of the cohort analyzed, 38 621 were women (48%); mean (SD) age was 49.0 (21.4) years, and mean (SD) Social Vulnerability Index score was 9.6 (1.6). Tracts with the highest per-population EMS transport refusal rates were characterized by higher unemployment, minority race/ethnicity, single-parent households, poverty, disability, lack of vehicle access, and overall Social Vulnerability Index score (9.6 vs 9.0, P = .002). At peak COVID-19 incidence and maximal stay-at-home orders, there were higher total responses (adjusted incident rate ratio [aIRR], 1.07; 1.03-1.12), odds of deaths (adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 1.60; 95% CI, 1.20-2.12), and refusals (aOR, 2.33; 95% CI, 2.09-2.60) but fewer completed ED transports (aIRR, 0.82; 95% CI, 0.78-0.86). With public health restrictions lifted and the nadir of COVID-19 cases, responses (aIRR, 1.01; 0.97-1.05) and deaths (aOR, 1.07; 95% CI, 0.81-1.41) returned to 2019 baselines, but differences in refusals (aOR, 1.27; 95% CI, 1.14-1.41) and completed transports (aIRR, 0.95; 95% CI, 0.90-0.99) remained. Multivariable-adjusted 2020 refusal was associated with female sex (aOR, 2.71; 95% CI, 2.43-3.03 in 2020 at the peak; aOR 1.47; 95% CI, 1.32-1.64 at the nadir). Conclusions and Relevance: In this cohort study, EMS transport refusals increased with the COVID-19 outbreak's peak and remained elevated despite receding public health restrictions, COVID-19 incidence, total EMS responses, and prehospital deaths. Voluntary refusal was associated with decreased EMS transports to EDs, disproportionately so among women and vulnerable communities.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Emergency Medical Services/statistics & numerical data , Patient Acceptance of Health Care/statistics & numerical data , Transportation of Patients/statistics & numerical data , Treatment Refusal/statistics & numerical data , Adult , Aged , COVID-19/prevention & control , Communicable Disease Control/statistics & numerical data , Emergency Service, Hospital/statistics & numerical data , Female , Humans , Logistic Models , Male , Michigan/epidemiology , Middle Aged , Odds Ratio , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2
17.
Subst Abuse Treat Prev Policy ; 16(1): 60, 2021 08 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1350150

ABSTRACT

RESEARCH OBJECTIVE: The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted healthcare delivery worldwide with likely negative effects on people who use opioids (PWUO). This scoping review of the original research literature describes the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on healthcare delivery for PWUO and identifies gaps in the literature. METHODS: This scoping review of the original research literature maps the available knowledge regarding the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on healthcare delivery for PWUO. We utilized the methodology developed by the Joanna Briggs Institute for scoping reviews, and content analyses methodology to characterize the current state of the literature. RESULTS: Of the 14 included studies, administrative database (n = 11), cross-sectional (n = 1) or qualitative (n = 2) studies demonstrated service gaps (n = 7), patient/provider experiences (n = 3), and patient outcomes for PWUO (n = 4). In March 2020, healthcare utilization dropped quickly, sharply increasing only for reasons of opioid overdose by May 2020. Service gaps existed in accessing treatment for new patients during the pandemic due to capacity and infrastructure limits. Physicians reported difficulty referring patients to begin an outpatient opioid treatment program due to increased restrictions in capacity and infrastructure. Patients also reported uncertainty about accessing outpatient treatment, but that telehealth initiation of buprenorphine increased access to treatment from home. Disproportionate increases in overdose rates among African Americans were reported in two studies, with differences by race and gender not examined in most studies. Fatal overdoses increased 60% in African Americans during the pandemic, while fatal overdoses in Non-Hispanic White individuals decreased. CONCLUSIONS: In summary, this beginning evidence demonstrates that despite early reluctance to use the healthcare system, opioid overdose-related use of healthcare increased throughout the pandemic. Service delivery for medications to treat OUD remained at or above pre-pandemic levels, indicating the ability of telehealth to meet demand. Yet, racial disparities that existed pre-pandemic for PWUO are intensifying, and targeted intervention for high-risk groups is warranted to prevent further mortality. As the pandemic progresses, future research must focus on identifying and supporting subgroups of PWUO who are at heightened risk for experiencing negative outcomes and lack of access to care.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Drug Overdose/epidemiology , Health Services Accessibility/organization & administration , Opioid-Related Disorders/therapy , Buprenorphine/therapeutic use , Cross-Sectional Studies , Drug Overdose/ethnology , Drug Overdose/mortality , Emergency Medical Services/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Methadone/therapeutic use , Narcotic Antagonists/therapeutic use , Opiate Substitution Treatment , Opioid-Related Disorders/drug therapy , Pandemics , Patient Satisfaction , SARS-CoV-2 , Telemedicine/organization & administration
18.
Am J Public Health ; 111(7): 1223-1226, 2021 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1348405

ABSTRACT

Emergency Medical Services (EMS) in Israel was called on to vaccinate the most vulnerable population-the elderly in assisted living facilities and their caregivers. Two parameters led the operation: (1) maximum use of the scarce COVID-19 vaccine, and (2) minimizing the time it took to reach this entire population. We present the process of vaccinating 126 245 people in two weeks at 756 locations countrywide, focusing on the planning and logistics of this operation. Resilience, flexible logistics, and dedicated personnel provided an efficient public health operation.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/therapeutic use , COVID-19/prevention & control , Emergency Medical Services/statistics & numerical data , Vaccination/statistics & numerical data , Vulnerable Populations/statistics & numerical data , Aged , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/transmission , Humans , Israel
19.
J Cardiovasc Med (Hagerstown) ; 22(9): 701-705, 2021 09 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1339452

ABSTRACT

The Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has thoroughly and deeply affected the provision of healthcare services worldwide. In order to limit the in-hospital infections and to redistribute the healthcare professionals, cardiac percutaneous intervention in Pediatric and Adult Congenital Heart Disease (ACHD) patients were limited to urgent or emergency ones. The aim of this article is to describe the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Pediatric and ACHD cath laboratory activity during the so-called 'hard lockdown' in Italy. Eleven out of 12 Italian institutions with a dedicated Invasive Cardiology Unit in Congenital Heart Disease actively participated in the survey. The interventional cardiology activity was reduced by more than 50% in 6 out of 11 centers. Adolescent and ACHD patients suffered the highest rate of reduction. There was an evident discrepancy in the management of the hard lockdown, irrespective of the number of COVID-19 positive cases registered, with a higher reduction in Southern Italy compared with the most affected regions (Lombardy, Piedmont, Veneto and Emilia Romagna). Although the pandemic was brilliantly addressed in most cases, we recognize the necessity for planning new, and hopefully homogeneous, strategies in order to be prepared for an upcoming new outbreak.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Cardiac Surgical Procedures , Emergency Medical Services , Heart Defects, Congenital , Infection Control , Risk Management/methods , Adolescent , Adult , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/transmission , Cardiac Surgical Procedures/methods , Cardiac Surgical Procedures/statistics & numerical data , Civil Defense/methods , Civil Defense/trends , Disease Transmission, Infectious/prevention & control , Emergency Medical Services/methods , Emergency Medical Services/statistics & numerical data , Female , Heart Defects, Congenital/epidemiology , Heart Defects, Congenital/surgery , Humans , Infection Control/methods , Infection Control/organization & administration , Italy/epidemiology , Male , Organizational Innovation , SARS-CoV-2
20.
Stroke Vasc Neurol ; 5(4): 403-405, 2020 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1318203

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Patients with stroke-like symptoms may be underutilising emergency medical services and avoiding hospitalisation during the COVID-19 pandemic. We investigated a decline in admissions for stroke and transient ischaemic attack (TIA) and emergency department (ED) stroke alert activations. METHODS: We retrospectively compiled total weekly hospital admissions for stroke and TIA between 31 December 2018 and 21 April 2019 versus 30 December 2019 and 19 April 2020 at five US tertiary academic comprehensive stroke centres in cities with early COVID-19 outbreaks in Boston, New York City, Providence and Seattle. We collected available data on ED stroke alerts, stroke severity using the National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS) and time from symptom onset to hospital arrival. RESULTS: Compared with 31 December 2018 to 21 April 2019, a decline in stroke/TIA admissions and ED stroke alerts occurred during 30 December 2019 to 19 April 2020 (p trend <0.001 for each). The declines coincided with state stay-at-home recommendations in late March. The greatest decline in hospital admissions was observed between 23 March and 19 April 2020, with a 31% decline compared with the corresponding weeks in 2019. Three of the five centres with 2019 and 2020 stroke alert data had a 46% decline in ED stroke alerts in late March and April 2020, compared with 2019. Median baseline NIHSS during these 4 weeks was 10 in 2020 and 7 in 2019. There was no difference in time from symptom onset to hospital arrival. CONCLUSION: At these five large academic US hospitals, admissions for stroke and TIA declined during the COVID-19 pandemic. There was a trend for fewer ED stroke alerts at three of the five centres with available 2019 and 2020 data. Acute stroke therapies are time-sensitive, so decreased healthcare access or utilisation may lead to more disabling or fatal strokes, or more severe non-neurological complications related to stroke. Our findings underscore the indirect effects of this pandemic. Public health officials, hospital systems and healthcare providers must continue to encourage patients with stroke to seek acute care during this crisis.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Hospitalization/statistics & numerical data , Pandemics , Stroke/epidemiology , Emergency Medical Services/statistics & numerical data , Female , Humans , Ischemic Attack, Transient/epidemiology , Male , Middle Aged , Retrospective Studies , Time-to-Treatment , United States/epidemiology
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