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Due to a national shortage, front line healthcare workers are risking their lives to treat COVID-19 patients without the proper personal protection equipment (PPE) needed to protect themselves from exposure. Meanwhile, non-essential businesses may have stockpiles of PPE, but don’t know how to donate their supplies to medical providers in need.
The EMLRC/FCEP is launching a Statewide PPE Drive to help coordinate donations, and are looking for community partners to help us spread the word. If you work for a professional association or similar type of organization targeting industries that use PPE (i.e. dental societies, home builder associations, estheticians, etc.), please contact Melissa Keahey at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on how to get involved.
In Southeast Florida? UM medical students are collecting PPE donations, along with moral care packages and food from local businesses. Learn more at: www.miamimedcovidhelp.com
By the News Service of Florida & Florida Department of Health
|Florida COVID-19 Numbers as of Tuesday
COVID-19 in Florida as of yesterday at noon:
- 14,504 confirmed cases (a 1,180 increase from Monday morning)
- 283 deaths of Florida residents (47 increase from Monday morning)
- 1,778: Hospitalizations of Florida residents (185 increase from Monday morning)
- 358: Cases involving residents or staff members of long-term care facilities (78 increase from Monday morning)
- 58: Cases involving residents or staff members of long-term care facilities in Miami-Dade County, the most in the state.
- 65 counties with confirmed cases
- 4,997: Cases in Miami-Dade
- 8,346: Cases in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties
Wednesday, April 22, 2020 at 11:00-1:00 pm
Zoom Meeting Link
One-tap mobile: +19292056099,,650950088#
Last week, AHCA launched a data website that shows hospital bed capacity per hospital and per county in Florida. The website pulls data from the Emergency Status System (ESS) and is refreshed twice a day. This will be an essential tool for EMS providers during the COVID-19 pandemic. View Now
ACEP is partnering with Hilton & American Express to provide 1 million hotel rooms to frontline medical professionals during the pandemic. ACEP members can already access discounted rooms across the country, but beginning April 13, you will be able to access these rooms at no cost to you. These free rooms will only be available next Monday, April 13.
EMpulse Spring 2020 will hit mailboxes mid-month! This issue was a bit delayed thanks to COVID-19, and we'll be releasing some articles online before the print edition reaches you. Read one of our cover stories, "A Steadfast Approach to the COVID-19 Pandemic," by Dr. Amy Souers now.
Check out this resource page compiled by ACEP member Sam Ashoo, MD.
Looking for an executive or emergency order issued by Florida over the last month? FCEP lobbyist Toni Large has compiled them all into one webpage with live links and timelines of events.
Find All of Florida's Executive & Emergency Orders Here
April 9, 2020 from 9:30-10:30 AM via Zoom
Register ONCE for all Meetings
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.
About: FCEP is hosting weekly COVID-19 meetings via Zoom to help facilitate information sharing during this pandemic. These meetings will include 5-minute updates from important stakeholders such as:
The meetings will end with an open forum for discussion and Q&A. If you have questions that need answers, please send them through FCEP EngagED — we will address them on these weekly calls.
- Florida's Emergency Operations Center
- State EMS Medical Director
- Florida Hospital Association
- Our lobbyist, Toni Large
Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 1:45-2:15 pm
Call-In Number: 888-585-9008 | Code: 208-305-233
One-tap Mobile: +18885859008,,208305233#
Below are notes from Monday's call:
Update from State EMS Medical Director, Dr. Ken Scheppke:
This disease is unlike anything seen in the medical community, and fear is understandable in times of uncertainty. Protect yourselves and personnel with proper PPE (as available) and continue to preserve the current standard of emergency medical care in our state. Best practices:
Silent Hypoxemia ("Happy Hypoxemia"): patients often have low O2 stats but have no external signs of respiratory distress, AMS, or lack of perfusion — no physical appearance of SOB
- Screening personnel at shift change is possible
- Surgical masks (if available) and social distancing during shift, in station and at home
DIY resources for safer intubation are circulating on the internet, utilizing different methods of ingenuity to provide added protection for EMS providers by reducing the level of risk/exposure.
- Delay intubation as long as possible and maximizing oxygen delivery before intubating — perhaps tolerating lower oxygen saturation levels than standard.
Revisit termination of resuscitation protocols and patient transport.
The FDA granted its first emergency authorization for a rapid antibody blood test for COVID-19, developed by Cellex, allowing people to gauge a person's immune response to the novel coronavirus. The serological test—which uses a finger prick of blood and a small strip —detects two different types of antibodies produced by the body to fight off the infection. It is distinctly different from the nearly two dozen diagnostic tests the FDA has officially authorized so far, which focus on finding active infections by sequencing the genetic material of the virus.
Hydroxyquinoline is being researched as treatment and prophylaxis for frontline staff in theory reducing or preventing infection. If interested in participating in trial/research, email: Covid19prep@umn.edu.
Update from Steve McCoy, EMS Administrator - DOH EMS Section:
The Department is planning with a strong focus on medical surge and preparation:
- Mobile field hospitals are being constructed in Miami-Dade and Broward counties with 250 beds each
- Planning for 450-bed build out in Miami Convention Center Coordination with your local healthcare systems re: transport plans in advance of the surge is critical.
- Continued to identify and create Alternative Care sites designed to accommodate the surge and enable healthcare providers to provide medical care in non-traditional environments.
- There are record-low call volumes across state, so we are utilizing EMS in different ways to support planning and preparation for surge. EMS is vital to the response to COVID-19.
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Extend your digital reach through landing page ads, which are now available for purchase on a monthly basis!
EMpulse has (4) landing pages with (2) ad slots on each page:
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Space is sold on a first-come, first-serve basis. Months for EMpulse Spring 2020 are available now (April-June); the remainder of the year will be available soon. Find all details online here.
UPCOMING FCEP & EMLRC EVENTS
|JULY 8-11, 2020
||CLINCON 2020 | Learn More
|AUG. 6-9, 2020
||Symposium by the Sea 2020 | Learn More
To see the full calendar, click here.
While production of personal protective equipment (PPE), including masks and face shields, is ramping up, there are dire shortages in emergency departments across the country, with little relief in sight. ACEP and other organizations are leading the efforts to get emergency physicians and our other health care heroes the PPE they need through the Get Us PPE campaign at GetUsPPE.org.
One emergency room. Forty minutes. Six patients go into cardiac arrest. Four die before they make it out of the ER. The blare of the critical "CODE 99" from the hospital alert system rings out five other times in less than an hour, calling medics to scramble to a patient needing resuscitation. It's not chaos to them, but to an onlooker, it seems like hell.
Streets in cities and towns across the country are eerily quiet. Car traffic has dropped so substantially air pollution is abating. In many places, people are hunkered down indoors, trying to avoid contracting Covid-19. But the true battle against the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes the disease, is playing out in hospitals that are currently — or will soon be — engulfed in an onslaught of patients struggling to breathe. The tsunami has crashed over Seattle, parts of California, New Orleans, and New York City. In Boston and other places along the eastern seaboard, the full force of the wave hasn't yet hit, but it’s clear it is coming soon.
"I would rather die than risk getting coronavirus right now." That's what a patient told Dr. Comilla Sasson, an emergency medicine physician in Denver, after she advised the patient during a telemedicine visit that she was showing signs of a heart attack and should go to a hospital.
Washington state faced the first major outbreak of COVID-19 in the nation, but health officials have not kept track of how many doctors and nurses have the disease. New York, the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak, also lacks infection figures for medical staff, according to Jill Montag, a spokeswoman with the New York State Department of Health. That information can help save lives, said Dr. Grete Porteous, an anesthesiologist in Seattle who has worked on health care emergency preparedness and crisis management. It previously helped reduce risks to medical personnel during the much smaller SARS outbreak of 2003-04, she said.
The coronavirus pandemic has added an important duty to Dr. Mitchell Katz's job as head of the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation, the nation's largest public health care system. Before going to sleep after marathon days, he checks to make sure each of the 11 acute care hospitals he oversees has enough ventilators to help critically ill COVID-19 patients breathe.
Kaiser Health News
While the focus of the COVID-19 pandemic has been on respiratory problems and securing enough ventilators, doctors on the front lines are grappling with a new medical mystery. In addition to lung damage, many COVID-19 patients are also developing heart problems — and dying of cardiac arrest.
By Scott E. Rupp
While it may seem counterintuitive during the coronavirus pandemic, there are many hospitals across the United States that are furloughing, firing or cutting pay for employees despite the coming surge of virus cases. Per recent reporting by Becker's Hospital Review, more than 10 health systems are taking action to cut staff where possible.
Rand Corporation via EurekAlert
Hospitals can prepare for a surge of patients critically ill with COVID-19, but it will require hospital leaders, practitioners and regional officials to adopt drastic measures that challenge the standard way of providing care, according to a new RAND Corporation report. The analysis summarizes a range of evidence-based and promising strategies for creating critical care capacity in the nation's hospitals. It includes a simple-to-use online tool that allows decision-makers at all levels — hospitals, healthcare systems, states, regions — to estimate current critical care capacity and rapidly explore strategies for increasing it.
As cases in the United States skyrocket, one of the most foreboding possibilities of COVID-19's rapid growth is the potential to overwhelm hospital capacity. Hospitals in cities like New York are already underwater, relying on hospital boats ("70,000 ton message[s] of hope and solidarity") to keep them afloat, and on retired providers as well as prematurely graduated medical students to staff those beds. In tandem, telehealth has rapidly evolved from a "nice to have" to a "need to have" for U.S. health systems.
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