There has been a lot of talk recently in social media and the news about leaving Narcan behind after a reversal of an opioid overdose. A new voluntary program in Pittsburgh, PA allows the state to pay for Narcan atomizers that EMS can leave with friends and family of OD patients. The media buzz revolves around the idea that we are enabling this cycle of addiction; “There is some pushback that maybe you’re enabling the problem a little bit, but at least in the short term, reduce the chances that person is going to die and you create more opportunities to get them into treatment,” said Mark Pinchalk, patient care coordinator for Pittsburgh EMS.” (Media, 2018, para. 3) I agree with Mr. Pinchalk that as an EMS Provider we are not there to judge, we are there to render aid. One of my early instructors said, “Scott, your purpose is to leave the patient better than the way you found them.” I have taken that long ago statement to heart ever since, trying to leave the patient better than the way I found them whether that is medically as in a Diabetic whose blood glucose I raise from 20mg/dl to (more…)
Emergency Strikes The year was 2001—seems like a distant memory. Expecting our first child, my wife and I were living in Modesto, California, thinking about cradles and nurseries. We were so excited—the little one we’d been expecting was on his way! Excitement quickly changed to deep concern as we learned there were some major complications with the pregnancy and our baby was in serious jeopardy. Life’s pause button was pushed as everything else in the world came to a screeching halt. An ambulance transport and emergency delivery later, we found ourselves in our new home—the neonatal intensive care unit. For the next four months, we worked with medical teams around the clock to slowly usher our new 1-pound, 4-ounce son, Noah (now 15 years old), into the world. Financial Domino Effects This was an incredibly stressful time in our lives. Of all the things that burdened us, one of the most memorable was the nearly $5,000 invoice we received for a specific service. With no clue how we would pay this, I finally worked up the courage to pick up the phone and call the number on the invoice. The provider was demanding immediate payment before sending the bill to...
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced $70 million in grants to help communities and health care professionals combat the ongoing opioid crisis that is ravaging communities across the U.S. The majority of the money will be used to help prevent opioid-induced deaths and to provide treatment for people with opioid use disorders, including $28 million allotted for medication-based treatment. More than 33,000 lives were claimed in 2015 due to opioid overdoses. $41.7 million of the funding is set to expand resources and training for first responders on how to use emergency treatments, such as Narcan, to help reverse and treat overdoses. In many cases, first responders are often the difference between life and death for opioid users who experience an overdose, so it is imperative health care professionals have access to the needed resources and training to help save lives. The additional funding aims to help paramedics, EMTs and other emergency service personnel gain access to much-needed resources. “The grants we announce today clearly demonstrate our efforts to meet the opioid crisis with every tool at our disposal,” said Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary Kana Enomoto. “The evidence-based training, medication, and behavioral therapies provided here will save lives and help people with addictions (more…)
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently issued guidance for the Requirements for Transactions with First Responders under Section 582 of the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. For those of you who are not as familiar with this law, this is the section of the Act that is referred to as the Drug Supply Chain Security Act provisions. This Act enhanced the FDA’s ability to protect consumers from exposure to drugs that may be counterfeit, stolen, contaminated, or otherwise harmful from being dispensed and administered to patients by requiring certain product tracing information be provided and maintained by certain dispensers. The guidance is intended to describe the FDA’s current thinking on the topic and should only be viewed as recommendations, unless a specific regulatory or statutory requirement is cited. Background The Drug Supply Chain Security Act requires that dispensers (retail and hospital pharmacies), trading partners (manufacturers, re-packager, wholesale distributor), and third party logistics providers (entities that provides or coordinates warehousing but doesn’t take ownership) to provide and maintain tracing information to entities upon distribution or transfer of ownership and that both dispensers and those who receiving ownership of a product had to maintain...
When something goes wrong during an ambulance transport, sometimes the most important thing to do is to apologize to your patient. Join Matthew Streger, Esq. of Keavney Streger for a brief overview of the Dos and Don’ts of saying, “I’m sorry.”
EMSA CPR Education Program Awarded a 2016 AMBY for Best Public Relations Campaign Emergency Medical Services Authority (EMSA) | Tulsa, Oklahoma EMSA, the Emergency Medical Services Authority, is Oklahoma’s largest provider of pre-hospital emergency medical care. We provide ambulance service to more than 1.1 million residents in central and northeast Oklahoma. EMSA was established in Tulsa in 1977 and later expanded to include Bixby, Jenks and Sand Springs. EMSA began providing service to Oklahoma City in 1990. EMSA is the ambulance provider in 16 cities across the state. As a public trust authority of the City of Tulsa and City of Oklahoma City governments, EMSA is charged with ensuring the highest quality of emergency medical service at the best possible price. There are several entities that work together in the EMSA system, including the Cities of Oklahoma City and Tulsa, the medical director, and the contracted ambulance provider. EMSA oversees all business aspects including ambulances and other capital equipment, maintaining patient records, billing and more. The medical director conducts routine audits and testing of all medics practicing in the system, writes seamless protocols to ensure the continuity of care between first responders and transport medics, researches new treatment modalities and evaluates complaints. EMSA (more…)
Advanced Medical Transport’s Race to the Top Program Awarded the 2016 AMBY for Best Clinical Outcome Advanced Medical Transport (AMT) | Peoria, IL Advanced Medical Transport (AMT) developed the Race to the Top Program to provide the communities they serve with some of the top cardiac resuscitation rates in the nation. “By concentrating on eight highly-interdependent elements of a world-class emergency cardiac care and response system, we soldier more forces together and win more battles in the war on sudden cardiac arrest,” said AMT’s Josh Bradshaw. Even before implementing Race to the Top, AMT’s cardiac arrest resuscitation rates were three times the national average. However, the leadership team felt that they could push the rates higher through a multifaceted outreach program. The project began in in late 2014, with eight specific, measurable, and actionable objectives: Immediate recognition of sudden cardiac arrest; 911 activation, “First-Care” hands-only CPR, GPS to the rescue (PulsePoint); Access to and utilization of AEDs; Pit crew resuscitation by EMS providers; Deployment of Advanced Practice Paramedics; Advanced biomedical tools; Immediate provider feedback; and Community and caregiver recognition. AMT began the program with a Return of Spontaneous Circulation rate of 27%, and have now reached 45%, well on the way to their near-60% goal. The (more…)