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Flattening the COVID-19 Curve: The Unique Role of Emergency Medical Services in Containing a Global Pandemic.
Isr Med Assoc J. 2020 Aug; 22(8):476-482.IM

Abstract

BACKGROUND

The potential excess flow of patients into emergency departments and community clinics for testing and examination during a pandemic poses a major issue. These additional patients may lead to the risk of viral transmission to other patients and medical teams. To contain the spread of coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19), the Israeli Ministry of Health initiated a plan spearheaded by Magen David Adom (MDA), Israel's national emergency medical services (EMS) organization.

OBJECTIVES

To describe outbreak containment actions initiated by MDA, including a COVID-19 tele-triage center and home testing by paramedics.

METHODS

Retrospective analysis was conducted of de-identified data from the call management and command and control systems during the first period of the COVID-19 outbreak in Israel (23 February 2020-15 March 2020).

RESULTS

During the study period, the total number of calls to the dispatch centers was 477,321 with a daily average of 21,696, compared to 6000-6500 during routine times. The total number of COVID-19 related calls was 334,230 (daily average 15,194). There were 28,454 calls (8.51% of all COVID-19 related calls, average 1293/day) transferred to the COVID-19 call center. Of the COVID-19 call center inquiries, 8390 resulted in the dispatch of a dedicated vehicle, including a paramedic wearing personal protective equipment, to collect samples for testing (daily average 381).

CONCLUSIONS

Maximizing EMS during a pandemic using phone triage, in addition to dispatching paramedics to perform home testing, may significantly distance infected patients from the public and health care system. These steps can further minimize the spread of disease.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Community Division, Magen David Adom, Tel Aviv, Israel. Department of Emergency Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beer Sheva, Israel.Community Division, Magen David Adom, Tel Aviv, Israel.Department of Emergency Medicine, Shaare Zedek Medical Center, Jerusalem, Israel.Department of Health Systems Management, Peres Academic Center, Rehovot, Israel.Community Division, Magen David Adom, Tel Aviv, Israel. Jerusalem Mental Health Center, Hebrew University-Hadassah Medical School, Jerusalem, Israel.

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article

Language

eng

PubMed ID

33236579

Citation

Jaffe, Eli, et al. "Flattening the COVID-19 Curve: the Unique Role of Emergency Medical Services in Containing a Global Pandemic." The Israel Medical Association Journal : IMAJ, vol. 22, no. 8, 2020, pp. 476-482.
Jaffe E, Sonkin R, Alpert EA, et al. Flattening the COVID-19 Curve: The Unique Role of Emergency Medical Services in Containing a Global Pandemic. Isr Med Assoc J. 2020;22(8):476-482.
Jaffe, E., Sonkin, R., Alpert, E. A., Magid, A., & Knobler, H. Y. (2020). Flattening the COVID-19 Curve: The Unique Role of Emergency Medical Services in Containing a Global Pandemic. The Israel Medical Association Journal : IMAJ, 22(8), 476-482.
Jaffe E, et al. Flattening the COVID-19 Curve: the Unique Role of Emergency Medical Services in Containing a Global Pandemic. Isr Med Assoc J. 2020;22(8):476-482. PubMed PMID: 33236579.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Flattening the COVID-19 Curve: The Unique Role of Emergency Medical Services in Containing a Global Pandemic. AU - Jaffe,Eli, AU - Sonkin,Roman, AU - Alpert,Evan Avraham, AU - Magid,Avi, AU - Knobler,Haim Y, PY - 2020/11/25/entrez PY - 2020/11/26/pubmed PY - 2020/11/26/medline SP - 476 EP - 482 JF - The Israel Medical Association journal : IMAJ JO - Isr Med Assoc J VL - 22 IS - 8 N2 - BACKGROUND: The potential excess flow of patients into emergency departments and community clinics for testing and examination during a pandemic poses a major issue. These additional patients may lead to the risk of viral transmission to other patients and medical teams. To contain the spread of coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19), the Israeli Ministry of Health initiated a plan spearheaded by Magen David Adom (MDA), Israel's national emergency medical services (EMS) organization. OBJECTIVES: To describe outbreak containment actions initiated by MDA, including a COVID-19 tele-triage center and home testing by paramedics. METHODS: Retrospective analysis was conducted of de-identified data from the call management and command and control systems during the first period of the COVID-19 outbreak in Israel (23 February 2020-15 March 2020). RESULTS: During the study period, the total number of calls to the dispatch centers was 477,321 with a daily average of 21,696, compared to 6000-6500 during routine times. The total number of COVID-19 related calls was 334,230 (daily average 15,194). There were 28,454 calls (8.51% of all COVID-19 related calls, average 1293/day) transferred to the COVID-19 call center. Of the COVID-19 call center inquiries, 8390 resulted in the dispatch of a dedicated vehicle, including a paramedic wearing personal protective equipment, to collect samples for testing (daily average 381). CONCLUSIONS: Maximizing EMS during a pandemic using phone triage, in addition to dispatching paramedics to perform home testing, may significantly distance infected patients from the public and health care system. These steps can further minimize the spread of disease. SN - 1565-1088 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/33236579/Flattening_the_COVID_19_Curve:_The_Unique_Role_of_Emergency_Medical_Services_in_Containing_a_Global_Pandemic_ L2 - http://www.ima.org.il/IMAJ/ViewArticle.aspx?year=2020&month=08&page=476 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -