Original Research

Emergency Medical Dispatch Identification of Opioid Overdose and Frequency of Naloxone Administration on Scene

Opioid overdoses have reached crisis proportions. One response has been to increase the availability of naloxone HCl (commonly referred to by the generic name naloxone), which reverses the effects of opioid overdose. The Medical Priority Dispatch System (MPDS®) includes instructions by which the Emergency Medical Dispatcher (EMD) can prompt the caller to find and use naloxone on overdose victims. However, these instructions are only provided on dispatch Chief Complaint (CC)...

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Caller’s Ability to Understand “Responding Normally” vs. “Completely Alert” Key Question in a Brazilian Portuguese Version of an Emergency Medical Dispatch Protocol

Alertness is important to assess during many medical emergencies; however, assessing alertness proves difficult in a non-visual emergency dispatch environment. Little is understood about how to best gather an accurate report of patient alertness during an interaction between callers and Emergency Medical Dispatchers (EMDs). s: The primary objective of the study was to compare two versions of a Key Question (KQ) intended to gain an accurate report of alertness, to...

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Situational Awareness in Emergency Medical Dispatch: An Observation Study and Proposed Model

Situational awareness (SA, also called situation awareness) is the ability to take in relevant information about an event in order to understand it and take effective action. Maintaining effective SA as an emergency medical dispatcher (EMD) may be more difficult than in other, similarly complex roles because of the remote nature of an emergency call for help. This study attempts to provide insight on one remote SA situation by reporting on a simulation study in which...

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Willingness of Medical versus Non-Medical Emergency Responders to Accept Post-Incident Intervention

It has long been anecdotally held by emergency responders that non-medical emergency responders were less willing to accept post-incident intervention following a personally disturbing event than their medical counterparts. Methods: Aspects of emergency responder stress were studied across multiple disciplines of the emergency services: pre-hospital emergency medical services (EMS), fire protection, law enforcement, and emergency department (ED) or emergency room (ER) personnel....

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Evaluating the Effect of Proper Use of “Tell Me Exactly What Happened” Case Entry Questions on Chief Complaint Selection and Information Gathering at Emergency Police Dispatch

The most critical and difficult part of the Emergency Police Dispatcher’s (EPD) job may be the gathering of the initial problem description, which uses a scripted Protocol Case Entry Question (CEQ) but also requires interpretation on the part of the EPD. Specifically, at the beginning of the call, the EPD asks the caller the CEQ “Ok, tell me exactly what happened” (TMEWH). Based on the caller’s response, the EPD selects a Chief Complaint (CC) Protocol—a specific protocol that...

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PSAP Leadership Perceptions of Quality: A Six-Dimensional Model

Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) quality can have life-or-death implications. The quality of service provided by PSAPs is inconsistent due to the lack of mandatory standards of care at the national, state, and local levels. Public demands and duties placed on PSAPs have grown due to technological changes, civil cases alleging negligence, and the emergence of national recommended standards of care, yet governments at all levels have been slow to create governance structures to...

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Impact of Work-Related Factors on Stress and Health among 911 Calltakers and Dispatchers in California

Empirical literature examining the health and wellness of emergency responders has continued to grow over the past decade. Yet there is a relative absence of literature on 911 telecommunicators, who are often the “first, first responders” in an emergency. Examination of work-related factors that enhance risk for stress and adverse outcomes may improve current prevention and intervention efforts in this population. Methods: Civilian 911 calltakers and dispatchers from the state of...

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Barriers Significantly Influence Time to Bystander Compressions in Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest

Rapid identification of sudden out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) and delivery of bystander chest compressions in patients with ventricular fibrillation are key elements in the chain of survival. However, time to bystander compressions can be greatly affected by a wide variety of barriers, some beyond an EMD’s control. s: The aim of this study is to identify and quantify the impact that barriers have on the time taken to achieve bystander compressions for suspected...

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