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.

Continue Reading

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.

Continue Reading

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.”

Continue Reading

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.

Continue Reading

Webinar Dec 3 | Patient-Centered QI and System Design

From Firstwatch, Prodigy EMS, and the Center for Patient Safety

Conversations that Matter:
Patient-Centered QI and System Design
December 3, 2020 | Noon ET | Learn More & Register►

Most EMS systems claim to put the patient first, yet they still work 24-hour shifts, drive ambulances designed so that patients face the rear, and have QI systems that are not connected to the rest of the healthcare system.

Join us for this installment of Conversations that Matter, when facilitator Mike Taigman will explore how to create a more patient- and people-centered EMS organization with Jeff Jarvis, MD, MS, EMT-P, medical director for Williamson County EMS and Marble Falls Area EMS; former paramedic and hospital executive Bill Atkinson, PhD, EMT-P; and Brian LaCroix, EMS coordinator with the Center for Patient Safety. This session is sure to expand your knowledge and may just challenge your beliefs in the process.

Register on Prodigy EMS

Host – Mike Taigman, MA

Mike Taigman uses more than four decades of experience to help EMS leaders and field personnel improve the care and service they provide to patients and their communities. Mike is the improvement guide for FirstWatch and a nationally recognized author and speaker. He was the facilitator for the national EMS Agenda 2050 project and teaches improvement science in the Master’s in Healthcare Administration and Interprofessional Leadership program at the University of California San Francisco. He will serve as host and facilitator for Conversations that Matter.

Jeff Jarvis, MD, MS, EMT-P

Jeff Jarvis, MD, MS, EMT-P, is the medical director for Williamson County EMS and Marble Falls Area EMS. He is a practicing emergency physician at Baylor Scott & White Hospital in Round Rock, Texas. His experience in EMS and the broader health care field spans over 30 years, beginning as a volunteer firefighter and EMT. He has served as a paramedic in three states, the Texas State EMS training coordinator and department chair of EMS Technology at Temple College. Dr. Jarvis served as a member of the EMS Agenda 2050 Technical Expert Panel and represents the American College of Emergency Physicians on the National EMS Quality Alliance Steering Committee.

Bill Atkinson, PhD, EMT-P

Bill Atkinson, PhD, EMT-P, is president of Guidon Healthcare Consulting in Raleigh, North Carolina. He began his career in healthcare leadership as one of the first EMTs and then paramedics in the state of North Carolina. Dr. Atkinson went on to a lengthy career in healthcare management, running hospitals in South Carolina, Texas and Colorado before returning home to serve as president and CEO of New Hanover Regional Medical Center and, from 2003 until his retirement in 2013, WakeMed Health and Hospitals.

Brian LaCroix

Brian LaCroix serves as EMS coordinator with the Center for Patient Safety. He recently retired as president and EMS chief of Allina Health EMS in St. Paul, Minnesota, where had started as a field provider in 1997. LaCroix also served as the president of the National EMS Management Association, is a fellow in the American College of Paramedic Executives and holds a paramedic degree and a bachelor’s degree in business administration. HE also consults with organizations to recruit senior EMS leaders, develop individuals and grow leadership teams and has worked on extended international EMS projects in Nicaragua, France and Croatia.

Center for Patient Safety

The Center for Patient Safety (CPS) provides expert support and resources across the healthcare continuum in our mission to reduce preventable harm.

For paramedicine providers CPS helps agencies cultivate a Culture of Patient Safety, manages a robust Patient Safety Organization for providers, offers education and support of mental and well-being of providers.

The Center is honored to be supporting the important dialogue of “Conversations that Matter!”

Webinar | EMS Performance: NEMSQA Quality Measures

EMS Performance: NEMSQA Quality Measures Webinar
December 3, 2020 | 15:00 ET | Register Now►

Performance measures drive practice, protocols, spending, and behaviors across healthcare. The National EMS Quality Alliance (NEMSQA) is leading the charge in development, refinement and dissemination of quality and performance measures for EMS. Working with EMS organizations, stakeholders, partners from government and industry, NEMSQA updated the EMS Compass measures to ensure their evidence-basis and make them readily deployable across the EMS community to drive quality and improvement in patient care. This program will inform you about the work of NEMSQA, how the NEMSQA measures are being implemented already, and how you can employ NEMSQA measures to improve performance in your EMS service or region.

Register Now

NEMSQA Mission Statement
NEMSQA will develop and endorse evidence-based quality measures for EMS and healthcare partners that improve the experience and outcomes of patients and care providers.

NEMSQA Vision Statement
Improving patient outcomes through the collaborative development of quality measures for EMS and health systems of care.

NIH | Promising Interim Results from NIH-Moderna Vaccine

From the National Institutes of Health on November 16

Promising Interim Results from Clinical Trial of NIH-Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine

An independent data and safety monitoring board (DSMB) overseeing the Phase 3 trial of the investigational COVID-19 vaccine known as mRNA-1273 reviewed trial data and shared its interim analysis with the trial oversight group on Nov. 15, 2020. This interim review of the data suggests that the vaccine is safe and effective at preventing symptomatic COVID-19 in adults. The interim analysis comprised 95 cases of symptomatic COVID-19 among volunteers. The DSMB reported that the candidate was safe and well-tolerated and noted a vaccine efficacy rate of 94.5%. The findings are statistically significant, meaning they are likely not due to chance. 90 of the cases occurred in the placebo group and 5 occurred in the vaccinated group. There were 11 cases of severe COVID-19 out of the 95 total, all of which occurred in the placebo group.

Continue Reading►

 

2020 AHA CPR Guidelines Released

From the American Heart Association’s Circulation Journal on October 21

The 2020 American Heart Association (AHA) Guidelines for Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) and Emergency Cardiovascular Care provides a comprehensive review of evidence-based recommendations for resuscitation and emergency cardiovascular care. The initial guidelines for CPR were published in 1966 by an ad hoc CPR Committee of the Division of Medical Sciences, National Academy of Sciences—National Research Council.1 This occurred in response to requests from several organizations and agencies about the need for standards and guidelines regarding training and response.

Since then, CPR guidelines have been reviewed, updated, and published periodically by the AHA.2–9 In 2015, the process of 5-year updates was transitioned to an online format that uses a continuous evidence evaluation process rather than periodic reviews. This allowed for significant changes in science to be reviewed in an expedited manner and then incorporated directly into the guidelines if deemed appropriate. The intent was that this would increase the potential for more immediate transitions from guidelines to bedside. The approach for this 2020 guidelines document reflects alignment with the International Liaison Committee on Resuscitation (ILCOR) and associated member councils and includes varying levels of evidence reviews specific to the scientific questions considered of greatest clinical significance and new evidence.

Read the 2020 Guidelines

 

October 16 is World Restart a Heart Day

From the Citizen CPR Foundation

The Citizen CPR Foundation’s 40 Under 40 Committee have combined talents and resources to produce a video featuring sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) survivors under 40 years of age. The video highlights the fact that sudden cardiac arrest can strike anyone, at any age, at any time – and that it should not be confused with a heart attack.

“There are too many people outside of our field who don’t understand the difference between a heart attack and a sudden cardiac arrest. Sadly, this also means they probably don’t know how to respond when it happens right in front of them – often to someone they know or love dearly,” says Stu Berger, MD, Foundation President and Division Head, Cardiology, at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago.

“One of the first issues the 40 Under 40 committee decided to work on after being formed in 2020 is sudden cardiac arrest awareness. This video was created to educate the public on cardiac arrest and inspire them to act if/when the time comes. I was 26 years old when I suffered my cardiac arrest. I was saved by my wife and a fellow police officer who both did incredible CPR until Fire/EMS could arrive and successfully resuscitate me. I am alive today earning my second chance at life because my wife and the responding officer did not hesitate to act” says Officer Brandon Griffith, 40 under 40 committee member, SCA survivor, and project lead on the video production.

Griffith continues, “We feature actual out of hospital sudden cardiac arrest survivors under the age of 40 to not only tackle stigmas of SCA but to highlight that it can happen to anyone, anywhere, anytime. With cardiac arrest, every second counts. Knowing how to recognize SCA and properly react can significantly increase survival outcomes.”

The video stresses and plays out the chain of survival steps necessary to save the life of someone suffering SCA: call 911, start compressions hard and fast in the center of the chest, use an AED if available, and don’t stop until first responders arrive and take over medical care. In other words, “Don’t wait, ACT!” as the video highlights.

View the video here:  https://citizencpr.org/actnow/

The launch coincides with World Restart a Heart day, a worldwide call to action on October 16th that is issued by the International Liaison Committee on Resuscitation.

The Foundation’s 40 Under 40 Program is supported in part by its Partner Council, a collaboration of committed, mission-aligned businesses and non-profits. It includes the American Heart Association and the American Red Cross, with support from industry including AED Superstore, Laerdal Medical, MD Solutions International, Nasco Healthcare, Prestan Products, Save Station, WorldPoint and ZOLL.

About Citizen CPR Foundation 

Founded in 1987, the mission of Citizen CPR Foundation is to save lives from sudden cardiac arrest by stimulating effective community, professional and citizen action. Every two years, the foundation holds its international Cardiac Arrest Survival Summit, formerly the Emergency Cardiovascular Care Update (ECCU), which features the latest information and trends in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). They will host their first ever Virtual Summit December 8 & 9, 2020. Register here: https://www.wregistration.com/ereg/index.php?eventid=579171& Contact Jennifer Crocker at 816-916-6843 or jcrocker@wellingtonexperience.com for more information.