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Ann Emerg Med ; 78(5): 577-586, 2021 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1281385


The COVID-19 pandemic has shed light on the ongoing pandemic of racial injustice. In the context of these twin pandemics, emergency medicine organizations are declaring that "Racism is a Public Health Crisis." Accordingly, we are challenging emergency clinicians to respond to this emergency and commit to being antiracist. This courageous journey begins with naming racism and continues with actions addressing the intersection of racism and social determinants of health that result in health inequities. Therefore, we present a social-ecological framework that structures the intentional actions that emergency medicine must implement at the individual, organizational, community, and policy levels to actively respond to this emergency and be antiracist.

Emergency Medical Services , Emergency Medicine , Health Status Disparities , Racism , Social Determinants of Health , COVID-19/epidemiology , Cultural Competency , Cultural Diversity , Emergency Medical Services/organization & administration , Emergency Medicine/education , Emergency Medicine/organization & administration , Health Policy , Humans , Pandemics , Prejudice , SARS-CoV-2 , United States/epidemiology
CMAJ ; 193(19): E698-E699, 2021 05 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1231267
CJEM ; 23(2): 242-244, 2021 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1086719


The Toronto Addis Ababa Academic Collaboration in Emergency Medicine (TAAAC-EM) is an educational global health partnership established 10 years ago to support the growth of EM in Ethiopia. In-person global health partnership activities were disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. We describe our five-step process for transitioning our global health partnership to a virtual space. Each step was conducted in collaboration between the University of Toronto and Addis Ababa University EM physicians: (1) risk identification and needs assessment, (2) discussing mitigation strategies, (3) crafting and piloting an approach, (4) revising based on pilot results, 5) implementation with continuous evaluation and revision. Teaching was modified iteratively in response to feedback. Our experience shows that virtual teaching, while not a replacement for in-person engagement, can be a valuable tool both to supplement partnership activities when travel is not possible, and to enhance global health partnerships long term. This approach can also inform the transition of other forms of medical education to the virtual space.

RéSUMé: La Toronto Addis-Ababa collaboration universitaire en médecine d'urgence (TAAAC-EM) est un partenariat mondial en éducation à la santé établi il y a 10 ans pour soutenir la croissance de la médecine d'urgence en Éthiopie. Les activités du partenariat mondiale pour la santé en personne ont été perturbées par la pandémie de COVID-19. Nous décrivons notre processus en cinq étapes pour la transition de notre partenariat mondial pour la santé vers un espace virtuel. Chaque étape a été menée en collaboration entre les médecins d'urgences de l'Université de Toronto et de l'Université d'Addis-Ababa : 1) identification des risques et évaluation des besoins, 2) discussion des stratégies d'atténuation, 3) élaboration et pilotage d'une approche, 4) révision basée sur les résultats des projets pilotes, 5) mise en œuvre avec évaluation et révision continues. L'enseignement a été modifié de manière itérative en réponse aux commentaires. Notre expérience montre que l'enseignement virtuel, bien qu'il ne remplace pas l'engagement en personne, peut être un outil précieux à la fois pour compléter les activités de partenariat lorsque les déplacements ne sont pas possibles, et pour renforcer les partenariats mondiaux pour la santé à long terme. Cette approche peut également faire apprendre la transition d'autres formes de formation médicale vers l'espace virtuel.

COVID-19/epidemiology , Emergency Medicine/organization & administration , Hospitals, University/statistics & numerical data , International Cooperation , Pandemics , Program Development , Global Health , Humans , Ontario , Saudi Arabia
J Emerg Med ; 60(4): 548-553, 2021 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1013863


BACKGROUND: In March of 2020, the World Health Organization declared coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)-a disease caused by a novel coronavirus-a pandemic, and it continued to spread rapidly in the community. Our institution implemented an emergency medicine telehealth system that sought to expedite care of stable patients, decrease provider exposure to COVID-19, decrease overall usage rate of personal protective equipment, and provide a platform so that infected or quarantined physicians could continue to work. This effort was among the first to use telehealth to practice emergency medicine in the setting of a pandemic in the United States. DISCUSSION: Outside the main emergency departments at each of 2 sites of our academic institution, disaster tents were erected with patient care equipment and medications, as well as technology to allow for telehealth visits. The triage system was modified to appropriately select low-risk patients with symptoms suggestive of COVID-19 who could be seen in these disaster tents. Despite some issues that needed to be addressed, such as provider discomfort, limited medication availability, and connectivity problems, the model was successful overall. CONCLUSIONS: Other emergency departments might find this proof of concept article useful. Telehealth will likely be used more broadly in the future, including emergency care. It is imperative that the health care system continues to adapt to respond appropriately to challenges such as pandemics.

COVID-19/epidemiology , Emergency Medicine/organization & administration , Pandemics/prevention & control , Telemedicine/organization & administration , Aged , COVID-19/prevention & control , Female , Humans , Medicare , Pregnancy , SARS-CoV-2 , United States/epidemiology
Emerg Med J ; 37(12): 773-777, 2020 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-894883


BACKGROUND: Public health mitigation strategies in British Columbia during the pandemic included stay-at-home orders and closure of non-essential services. While most primary physicians' offices were closed, hospitals prepared for a pandemic surge and emergency departments (EDs) stayed open to provide care for urgent needs. We sought to determine whether ED paediatric presentations prior and during the COVID-19 pandemic changed and review acuity compared with seasonal adjusted prior year. METHODS: We analysed records from 18 EDs in British Columbia, Canada, serving 60% of the population. We included children 0-16 years old and excluded those with no recorded acuity or discharge disposition and those left without being seen by a physician. We compared prepandemic (before the first COVID-19 case), early pandemic (after first COVID-19 case) and peak pandemic (during public health emergency) periods as well as a similar time from the previous year. RESULTS: A reduction of 57% and 70% in overall visits was recorded in the children's hospital ED and the general hospitals EDs, respectively. Average daily visits declined significantly during the peak-pandemic period (167.44±40.72) compared with prepandemic period (543.53±58.8). Admission rates increased mainly due to the decrease in the rate of visits with lower acuity. Children with complaints of 'fever' and 'gastrointestinal' symptoms had both the largest overall volume and per cent reduction in visits between peak-pandemic and prior year (79% and 74%, respectively). CONCLUSION: Paediatric emergency medicine attendances were reduced to one-third of normal numbers during the 2020 COVID-19 lockdown in British Columbia, Canada, with the reduction mainly seen in minor illnesses that do not usually require admission.

Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Emergency Medicine/organization & administration , Emergency Service, Hospital/organization & administration , Hospitals, Pediatric/organization & administration , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Adolescent , Betacoronavirus/pathogenicity , British Columbia/epidemiology , COVID-19 , Child , Child, Preschool , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Coronavirus Infections/transmission , Emergencies/epidemiology , Emergency Medicine/statistics & numerical data , Emergency Service, Hospital/statistics & numerical data , Female , Health Services Accessibility/organization & administration , Health Services Accessibility/statistics & numerical data , Hospitals, Pediatric/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Infant , Infant, Newborn , Male , Pandemics/prevention & control , Patient Admission/statistics & numerical data , Patient Discharge/statistics & numerical data , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/transmission , SARS-CoV-2 , Triage/organization & administration , Triage/statistics & numerical data
Emerg Med J ; 37(12): 768-772, 2020 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-807792


BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic has stretched EDs globally, with many regions in England challenged by the number of COVID-19 presentations. In order to rapidly share learning to inform future practice, we undertook a thematic review of ED operational experience within England during the pandemic thus far. METHODS: A rapid phenomenological approach using semistructured telephone interviews with ED clinical leads from across England was undertaken between 16 and 22 April 2020. Participants were recruited through purposeful sampling with sample size determined by data saturation. Departments from a wide range of geographic distribution and COVID-19 experience were included. Themes were identified and included if they met one of three criteria: demonstrating a consistency of experience between EDs, demonstrating a conflict of approach between emergency departments or encapsulating a unique solution to a common barrier. RESULTS: Seven clinical leads from type 1 EDs were interviewed. Thematic redundancy was achieved by the sixth interview, and one further interview was performed to confirm. Themes emerged in five categories: departmental reconfiguration, clinical pathways, governance and communication, workforce and personal protective equipment. CONCLUSION: This paper summarises learning and innovation from a cross-section of EDs during the first UK wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. Common themes centred around the importance of flexibility when reacting to an ever-changing clinical challenge, clear leadership and robust methods of communication. Additionally, experience in managing winter pressures helped inform operational decisions, and ED staff demonstrated incredible resilience in demanding working conditions. Subsequent surges of COVID-19 infections may occur within a more challenging context with no guarantee that there will be an associated reduction in A&E attendance or cessation of elective activity. Future operational planning must therefore take this into consideration.

Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Disaster Planning , Emergency Medicine/organization & administration , Emergency Service, Hospital/organization & administration , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Betacoronavirus/pathogenicity , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Coronavirus Infections/therapy , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Emergencies/epidemiology , England/epidemiology , Humans , Organizational Innovation , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Pneumonia, Viral/therapy , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Qualitative Research , SARS-CoV-2
Emerg Med J ; 37(10): 642-643, 2020 Oct.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-697092


The COVID-19 pandemic has taken the world by storm and overwhelmed healthcare institutions even in developed countries. In response, clinical staff and resources have been redeployed to the areas of greatest need, that is, intensive care units and emergency rooms (ER), to reinforce front-line manpower. We introduce the concept of close air support (CAS) to augment ER operations in an efficient, safe and scalable manner. Teams of five comprising two on-site junior ER physicians would be paired with two CAS doctors, who would be off-site but be in constant communication via teleconferencing to render real-time administrative support. They would be supervised by an ER attending. This reduces direct viral exposure to doctors, conserves precious personal protective equipment and allows ER physicians to focus on patient care. Medical students can also be involved in a safe and supervised manner. After 1 month, the average time to patient disposition was halved. General feedback was also positive. CAS improves efficiency and is safe, scalable and sustainable. It has also empowered a previously untapped group of junior clinicians to support front-line medical operations, while simultaneously protecting them from viral exposure. Institutions can consider adopting our novel approach, with modifications made according to their local context.

Air Ambulances/organization & administration , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Emergency Medical Services/organization & administration , Emergency Service, Hospital/organization & administration , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Workforce/organization & administration , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Emergency Medicine/organization & administration , Female , Humans , Male , Organizational Innovation , Outcome Assessment, Health Care , Pandemics/statistics & numerical data , Pilot Projects , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Program Development , Program Evaluation , Quality Improvement