The speedy spread of the global outbreak of COVID-19 called for rapid deployment of tools to monitor its trends. In January 2020, the International Academies of Emergency Dispatch® (IAED) released an official statement about the novel coronavirus with specific guidelines for our Medical Priority Dispatch System (MPDS)-user agencies to use the Emerging Infectious Disease Surveillance (EIDS) Tool for Sick Person (Protocol 26), Breathing Problems (Protocol 6), and other Chief Complaints where the caller offers information leading the emergency medical dispatcher (EMD) to suspect a respiratory-type illness.
Research has showed that heart attacks present clinically with varying symptoms; and those symptoms are not always described by patients as chest pain or chest discomfort. Emergency Medical Dispatchers (EMDs) using the Medical Priority Dispatch System (MPDS™) are trained to select the Chest Pain/Chest Discomfort Protocol for non-chest pain heart attack symptoms or classic heart attack complaint of chest pain/chest discomfort. Nevertheless, it is still unknown how often callers report heart attack symptoms other than chest pain/chest discomfort, including what specific words/phrases they use to describe
The primary objective of this study
was to determine the ability of an
Emergency Communication Nurse (ECN)
to appropriately identify the Abdominal
Pain Chief Complaint Protocol to use to
triage patients in low-acuity cases. The
secondary objectives were to establish
the most frequently used primary triage
code (Medical Priority Dispatch System™
(MPDS®) Determinant Codes), triggering
the use of the Abdominal Pain Chief
Complaint Protocol in the Emergency
Communication Nurse System™ (ECNS™),
as well as the percentage of these
calls resulting in a Recommended Care
Level (RCL) of “emergency a
Anecdotally, numerous MPDS® (Priority Dispatch Corp., Salt Lake City, Utah, USA)-user agencies in the USA, Canada, UK, and Brazil have reported that the emergency caller has difficulty understanding the key question (KQ) “Is s/he completely alert?”
Sick Person (Specific Diagnosis) is one of the
most commonly used Chief Complaint Protocols
in the Medical Priority Dispatch System (MPDS).
This protocol is often used when a caller does not
report any specific or high-priority symptoms. Of
particular concern is the 26-ALPHA-1 determinant
code, which refers to a person with “No priority
symptoms” and none of the specific symptoms
listed on the ALPHA-code drop-down list (Fig. 1).
Cardiovascular disease remains the most common cause
of death worldwide, with ischemic heart disease (IHD)
causing nearly nine million deaths per year. Coronary heart
disease (CHD) is estimated to cause about one-third of
all deaths in people over 35 years old, and the incidence
of CHD is expected to continue to rise. Acute myocardial
infarctions (AMIs)—heart attacks—represent a significant
portion of this overall CHD mortality, with approximately
620,000 Americans suffering a first heart attack, and
295,000 suffering a repeat event, each year.
Emergency communication centers often field a
large number of calls requesting transportation
for patients from one care facility to another.
Transferring patients between facilities can be
frustrating for nearly everyone, including care facility
staff, emergency dispatchers, communication center
leaders, and responders.
Traffic incidents (collisions and crashes) are among the
most common call types handled by Emergency
Communication Centers (ECCs). They are also among the
most complex call types because they represent such
a range of possible situations. These can range from
“fender benders” with no injuries and little or no property
damage—in which case a single law enforcement officer
might be an appropriate response—to mass-casualty
events involving trains, buses, or other large, multipassenger vehicles.
Kim Ruether, founder of Project Brock, gives some background on "Brock's Law" and Project Brock, a nonprofit dedicated to preventing sudden cardiac arrest in young people through awareness, education, and action...
Dr. Chris Olola, Director of Research for the IAED, Greg Scott, Associate Director of Protocol Evolution, and Matt Hirschi, Data Analyst, discuss the IAED's data center: what it is, how it came to be, and how it can benefit your agency...