Feb 2 Webinar | Free: Best Practices in EMS Transformation During the Pandemic

Best Practices in EMS Transformation During the Pandemic
Co-Hosted by NASEMSO, NAEMSP, and AIMHI
Tuesday, February 2 | Noon ET
Register Free

Many EMS agencies have dramatically transformed their clinical and operational and approach for care delivery, as well as enhancing their role in the community, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. EMS regulators have had to navigate the regulatory environment to change rules that facilitate the changes necessary for EMS agencies to effectively serve their communities. Implementing transformational change requires strong clinical leadership, responsive operational acumen, and in many cases, changes in the regulatory environment. Successful transformation takes close collaboration with medical direction, operations and regulatory oversight.

Join panelists from the Academy of International Mobile Healthcare Integration, the National Association of EMS Physicians, and the National Association of State EMS Officials as they highlight examples and best practices for navigating the clinical, operational and regulatory maze to facilitate transforming the role of EMS.

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USFA | Fire & EMS Civil Unrest Response

Read best practices on the FEMA US Fire Administration Website

Civil unrest may occur as a period of social upheaval during heightened community tension or at mass gatherings such as sporting events, concerts and political conventions. The safety risk for fire and emergency medical services (EMS) personnel responding to these fluid incidents may be elevated.

The U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Office of Emergency Medical Services worked together to compile these best practices to assist you with your response to civil unrest incidents in your community. Fire and EMS personnel should follow the general guidance in this section to prepare personnel, the station, apparatus and the community for emergency response in a challenging environment.

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BMJ | Pfizer Second Dose Efficacy 95%

Covid-19: Pfizer vaccine efficacy was 52% after first dose and 95% after second dose, paper shows
BMJ 2020; 371 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.m4826 (Published 11 December 2020)
Cite this as: BMJ 2020;371:m4826

The Pfizer and BioNTech covid-19 vaccine may provide some early protection, starting 12 days after the first dose, the peer reviewed results of a phase III trial have found.

The study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine,1 found that vaccine efficacy between the first and second doses was 52% (95% credible interval 29.5% to 68.4%), with 39 cases of covid-19 in the vaccine group and 82 cases in the placebo group.

Seven or more days after the second dose, vaccine efficacy then rose to 95% (90.3% to 97.6%), with eight covid-19 cases reported in the vaccine group and 162 cases in the placebo group.

The vaccine has so far been approved in Canada and in the UK, where it is already being rolled out to people over 80 and healthcare workers. In the US the Food and Drug Administration’s independent panel has voted in favour of emergency use authorisation for the vaccine, and the agency is expected to approve it within days.2

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On-Demand | EMS Physician Virtual Town Hall: COVID Vaccines

Cohosted by NAEMT, NAEMSP, and NASEMSO
Recorded Thursday, January 7, 2021
2:00–3:00 pm EST

EMS practitioners have been serving as the “tip of the spear” in responding to and managing the COVID-19 pandemic. Paramedics and EMTs across the country have contracted COVID-19, and too many have succumbed to the virus. The launch of the vaccination program has included a great deal of information about the vaccines, not all of which has been accurate. Confusing or misleading information about COVID-19 vaccinations may cause some EMS practitioners to choose not to receive the vaccine.

To help cut through the noise, NAEMT has assembled some of our nation’s most notable EMS physician leaders for a virtual town hall to answer your questions and concerns regarding the COVID vaccines. This will be a spirited discussion, led primarily by the questions YOU ask. Questions can be asked live, or submitted in advance to Matt Zavadsky.

Moderator: Matt Zavadsky, MS-HSA, NREMT – Chief Strategic Integration Officer, Medstar Mobile Healthcare, Ft. Worth, TX; 2019-2020 President, NAEMT

Panelists:

  • Doug Kupas, MD, FAEMS, FACEP – EMS Medical Director, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania; NAEMSP Board Member; NASEMSO Medical Director’s Council
  • Kenneth A. Scheppke, MD, FAEMS – EMS Medical Director, State of Florida; Medical Director, Palm Beach County Fire Rescue
  • Veer D. Vithalani, MD, FACEP, FAEMS – System Medical Director, Office of the Medical Director, Metropolitan Area EMS Authority; Chief Medical Officer, MedStar Mobile Healthcare
  • Jon R. Krohmer, MD, FACEP, FAEMS – Director, Office of EMS, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration; Team Lead, HHS Healthcare Resiliency Working Group EMS/Prehospital Team

de Beaumont | COVID-19 Vaccine Acceptance Language

From the de Beaumont Foundation

The findings of a new national poll, “The Language of Vaccine Acceptance,” reveal the urgent need for political and health leaders to adjust their messaging to improve confidence in COVID-19 vaccines. The poll identifies the language that will be most effective in reaching all Americans, especially those who are currently less likely to take a vaccine, including rural Americans, Republicans age 18-49, Black Americans 18-49, and women 18-49.

The nationwide poll was conducted by the de Beaumont Foundation and pollster Frank Luntz in partnership with the American Public Health Association, the National Collaborative for Health Equity, and Resolve to Save Lives, an Initiative of Vital Strategies.

Highlights

  • Sixty percent of Americans said they were either “absolutely certain” or would “probably” get the vaccine if they could now.
  • The groups least likely to say they were “absolutely certain” were Americans in rural/farm communities (26%), Republicans age 18-49 (27%), Black Americans 18-49 (28%), and women 18-49 (29%). This compares with 41% of all respondents who said they were “absolutely certain” they would get the vaccine.
  • When asked about the biggest concern about taking the COVID-19 vaccine, one-third of all respondents (33%) said either long-term side effects or short-term side effects. The top three statements about side effects that respondents found most reassuring were “the likelihood of experiencing a severe side effect is less than 0.5%,” mild side effects “are normal signs that their body is building protection,” and “most side effects should go away in a few days.”
  • When asked what they want most from a vaccine, respondents said “a return to normal,” followed by “safety” and “immunity.”
  • When asked which statement was the most convincing, 62% of respondents chose “getting vaccinated will help keep you, your family, your community, the economy, and your country safe and healthy” over “taking the vaccine is the right thing to do for yourself, for your family, your community, the economy, and the country” (38%). This highlights the need to avoid moralizing and lecturing Americans when it comes to the importance of vaccine acceptance.
  • Family is by far the most powerful motivator for vaccine acceptance. Significantly more Americans said they’d be most willing to take the vaccine for their family as opposed to “your country,” “the economy,” “your community,” or “your friends.”
  • The most convincing reasons to take the vaccine were “at 95 percent efficacy, this vaccine is extraordinarily effective at protecting you from the virus” and “vaccines will help bring this pandemic to an end,” and “getting vaccinated will help keep you, your family, your community, and your country healthy and safe.”

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CHART Model Community Transformation Track App Deadline Extended

From CMS on December 29, 2020

CHART Model Community Transformation Track Application Deadline Extension

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will extend the Community Health Access and Rural Transformation (CHART) Model Community Transformation Track application deadline by one month to March 16, 2021.

This extension is in response to feedback received from stakeholders, including comments about the challenges of preparing an application during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) public health emergency. Extending the application deadline will allow interested applicants additional time to prepare their applications.

The Community Transformation Track will provide up-front funding to up to 15 rural communities across the country. The rural communities will be awarded seed money to work with health care providers and payers across the community to design systems of care that improve access to high quality care that is sustainable and value-based.

NYT | What You Can Do Post-Vaccine, and When

From the New York Times

Vaccines are here, bringing hope of the pandemic’s end. But even when you get your dose, it won’t mean an immediate return to life as you knew it.

Scientists cite several reasons for staying masked and cautious as you start your post-vaccine life. Vaccines don’t offer perfect protection; we don’t yet know whether vaccinated people can spread the virus; and coronavirus is likely to continue its rapid spread until a large majority of the population is vaccinated or has survived a natural infection.

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LED lights found to kill coronavirus

From Tel Aviv University on December 14

LED lights found to kill coronavirus: Global first in fight against COVID-19

TAU finding suggests technology can be installed in air conditioning, vacuum, and water systems

Researchers from Tel Aviv University (TAU) have proven that the coronavirus can be killed efficiently, quickly, and cheaply using ultraviolet (UV) light-emitting diodes (UV-LEDs). They believe that the UV-LED technology will soon be available for private and commercial use.

This is the first study conducted on the disinfection efficiency of UV-LED irradiation at different wavelengths or frequencies on a virus from the family of coronaviruses. The study was led by Professor Hadas Mamane, Head of the Environmental Engineering Program at TAU’s School of Mechnical EngineeringIby and Aladar Fleischman Faculty of Engineering. The article was published in November 2020 issue of the Journal of Photochemistry and Photobiology B: Biology.

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COVID-19 Vaccine Update from Gundersen Tri-State Ambulance

COVID-19 has significantly affected our community and communities around the country and the world. Through the beginning of December, there have been over 14 million confirmed COVID cases in the United States. This represents only about 4% of the US population. Vaccination against this novel coronavirus seems necessary to achieve a level of immunity that will prevent significant burden on all aspects of American life.

In a small survey of EMS Providers by EMS1, 41% of respondents indicated they would not be willing to receive a COVID-19 vaccine if approved for use. An additional 19% indicated they were not sure and 12% only if mandated by their employer. This leaves only 24% who indicated they would be willing to receive the vaccine.

Based on these and other survey results, Gundersen Tri-State Ambulance sought to provide information to its team members and to all regional EMS providers. The goal of this podcast style video is to allow our team members and others who may view it to make a more informed decision about receiving a COVID-19 vaccine.

If you are viewing this from outside our regional EMS system, be sure to discuss this topic further with your EMS Medical Director, service leadership, personal physician, etc.

https://www.tristateambulance.org/ems-covid-vaccine/

Distance CME | Deer Accidents: What EMS Should Keep in Mind

Sponsored content from affiliate member Distance CME

Deer Accidents: What EMS and Ambulance Providers Should Keep in Mind

Wondering which state has the highest incidence of deer accidents in the U.S.?
West Virginia, followed by Montana and Pennsylvania, according to a State Farm Insurance report. Deer collisions increase from October through December, which includes elk and moose.

Car crashes caused by deer accidents account for up to about 200 fatalities per year and 10,000 injuries, according to West Bend Insurance Divisions.

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Fox | ‘What if you call EMS and nobody comes?’

From Fox News by Hunter Davis on December 10

Coronavirus crippling emergency response agencies: ‘What if you call EMS and nobody comes?’

DALLAS, Texas – The coronavirus pandemic has strained the country’s hospital systems and pushed front-line workers mentally and physically as the number of cases spikes upward again. Some agencies dealing with budget issues due to demand in personal protective equipment (PPE) and an uptick in calls have been forced to shutter, begging the question of who will respond in the event of an emergency?

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WaPo | Pandemic is pushing America’s 911 system to ‘breaking point’

From the Washington Post by William Wan on December 3, 2020

Pandemic is pushing America’s 911 system to ‘breaking point,’ ambulance operators say
Surging demand, financial strain are leaving ambulance teams exhausted and running out of funds

The coronavirus pandemic has pushed America’s 911 system and emergency responders to a “breaking point,” with ambulance operators exhausted and their services financially strained, according to the group that represents them.

The situation since the novel coronavirus struck last winter has grown so dire that the American Ambulance Association recently begged the Department of Health and Human Services for $2.6 billion in emergency funding.

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CNN | 911 emergency medical system in US ‘at a breaking point’

From CNN Health by Shelby Lin Erdman on December 2, 2020

(CNN)With the Covid-19 surge straining America’s health care system, the 911 emergency call system has been stretched to “the breaking point,” the American Ambulance Association says.

Ambulance services are critical in getting sick patients to hospitals for care, and the American Ambulance Association, which represents all of the nation’s ambulance services, said they are struggling to stay together.
Hospitalizations have reached an all-time high with more than 100,200 admissions, according to the COVID Tracking Project. And more than 3,100 deaths were reported Wednesday, according to Johns Hopkins University.

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The Hill | 911 system at ‘breaking point,’ AAA Says

From The Hill by Zack Budryk on December 3, 2020

911 system at ‘breaking point,’ American Ambulance Association says

The American Ambulance Association has warned that the emergency response system has reached a “breaking point” as the coronavirus rages across the country in a letter to the Department of Health and Human Services.

“The 911 emergency medical system throughout the United States is at a breaking point,” Aarron Reinert, the president of the American Ambulance Association, said in the Nov. 25 letter, obtained by The Hill. “Without additional relief, it seems likely to break, even as we enter the third surge of the virus in the Mid-West and West.”

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NBC | Ambulance companies at ‘a breaking point’ after receiving little Covid aid

From NBC News by Phil McCausland on December 1, 2020

Stefan Hofer’s ambulance company, West Traill EMS, in Mayville, North Dakota, has received only one or two calls that weren’t related to Covid-19 over the past two months. But he said the case count has ballooned by 20 to 30 percent because of the pandemic. At the same time, the company’s expenses have mounted, its revenue has cratered and its workforce is being decimated by the virus.

The company — which is private and supported by volunteers, a few employees and four trucks — covers more than 1,500 miles of North Dakota prairie and serves about 10,000 people on the far east side of the state.

Private EMS services, both in urban and rural centers across the country, collectively received $350 million in Covid-19 relief funds in April, but those companies said that money ran out within weeks. Months later, the need remains great as they face another coronavirus surge.

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