National News

Friday, April 3, 2020

New England Patriots’ airplane ships 1.2 million face masks from China to US

As the U.S. continues to combat the coronavirus outbreak, the New England Patriots’ airplane is being used to help aid the country in its response to the pandemic. The Patriots’ team plane departed early Wednesday morning from Shenzen, China, where the Boeing 767 had picked up 1.2 million N95 face masks to bring them back to the United States, according to a report from The Wall Street Journal. The plane was expected to land at Boston Logan International Airport on Thursday, The Wall Street Journal reported. “No days off. Thanks to some serious teamwork, Massachusetts is set to receive over 1 million N95 masks for our front-line workers. Huge thanks to the Krafts and several dedicated partners for making this happen,” Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker tweeted. A picture of the Patriots’ plane with workers moving large cargo can be seen in the governor’s tweet.
The Republican -

Indiana: Protective Shield Developed For First Responders Facing COVID-19 Cases

VIDEO: Protecting first responders has never been more important. Now a local business has developed a simple safety solution. CBS 2’s Steven Graves takes a look at how it works. Like most operations around the country, the one at Crown Point, Indiana Fire and Rescue has shifted. “Our thought process is that everybody is a potential patient with COVID-19. That’s just how we have to treat it right now,” said assistant fire chief Mark Baumgardner. “Even though we have the proper PPE on, it still puts us at a much higher risk to get contaminated.” This week, they started using this isolation box, similar to ones used in emergency rooms, but strapped to a stretcher. “We can not only protect our people, but still provide the advance care we need to give to our patients,” Baumgardner said. It’s made out of a thin layer of plastic that can be easily sterilized. It goes over the patient’s head, can be taken on and off and moves with the stretcher.
WBBM-TV CBS 2 Chicago

EMS crews won’t take flatlining cardiac patients to hospital under New York City’s new coronavirus rules

Cardiac patients who flatline will not be taken to area hospitals for further care, according to a new directive handed down as the city battles the rise in coronavirus cases. The new orders from the Regional Emergency Medical Services Council of New York City say that “no adult non-traumatic or blunt traumatic cardiac arrest is to be transported to a hospital with manual or mechanical compressions in progress" unless the person’s heart restarts at the scene. The council — which sets policies followed by private and government EMS crews in the five boroughs — issued the order to free up emergency room space for the continuing onslaught of COVID-19 cases. “In the event a resuscitation is terminated, and the body is in public view, the body can be left in the custody of the NYPD,” the directive notes. Traditionally, EMTs responding to cardiac cases rush their patients to the hospital to continue resuscitation efforts even when the patient has died.
New York Daily News

With protective gear in short supply, doctors in Washington state turn to UV light treatment

Tucked away in the corner of his office, Dr. Richard Saint Syr has created a little treatment station. On the bottom shelf of his bookcase, hidden behind one of his pictures, is an ultraviolet light the size of his forearm, two N95 masks and some goggles. The light he bought from Amazon a few days back after he was hit with a realization. UV lights are used in hospitals to clean rooms and kill off germs, in HVAC systems to squash mold, in aquariums to fight off bacteria and parasites — why not enlist light in the fight against the coronavirus? As stocks of personal protective gear like the N95 masks that health care workers wear as they treat sick patients dwindle, Saint Syr, a family doctor at Swedish Medical Group’s Bainbridge Island Primary Care facility, has taken to practicing the UV technique and preaching it to his colleagues.
Kitsap Sun

Can hydroxychloroquine prevent coronavirus? New trial will test 3K healthy first responders in Michigan

Hospitals are seeing early success giving hydroxychloroquine to patients with COVID-19. Now, Henry Ford Health System wants to see if the drug can prevent the virus. The health system and the city of Detroit are launching the first research trial in the nation in which healthy people are given hydroxychloroquine. It plans to enroll 3,000 first responders and health care workers from southeast Michigan in the eight-week trial. The goal is to see if the drug can prevent or weaken COVID-19, Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan said. "In Detroit, we don't normally take things lying down. We fight back," Duggan said. "If this study works out, we'll save the lives of first responders around the world." Enrollment is voluntary for any first responders or health care workers in southeast Michigan who don't have COVID-19 or related symptoms.

Thursday, April 2, 2020

Union Head: FDNY to enact ‘doomsday scenario’ for medically-trained firefighters to assist EMS with coronavirus 911 calls

Firefighters trained as paramedics and EMTs will assist the FDNY’s overloaded medical services bureau as part of a “doomsday scenario” to deal with the surging coronavirus pandemic, the Daily News has learned. Roughly 209 FDNY firefighters with emergency medical technician licenses have been ordered to man rapid response vehicles, according to a six-minute video released Tuesday night by United Firefighters’ Association head Gerard Fitzgerald. They’re being asked to respond to some of the estimated 6,000 calls flooding the department’s Emergency Medical Service crews each day and evaluate patients for possible coronavirus infection or other medical problems, Fitzgerald said. An additional 63 firefighters with paramedic certifications are also on tap to assist EMS on medical calls, the union leader said.
New York Daily News

Detroit will be first city to use new 15-minute COVID-19 tests today

The city of Detroit will be the first to have specific test kits that could have results in minutes. Normally, the swab tests take days to yield results. Testing with these kits begin today but only for Detroit police, first responders and bus drivers. Instead of waiting days to get results to find out if you have the coronavirus — you get results in 15 minutes. And the interesting thing about these test kits is that they can show positive results even before someone shows symptoms. “Detroit will be the first city in the country to use the 15 minute testing," said Mayor Mike Duggan. Waiting for any health test result can be nerve-wrecking, but when it comes to coronavirus — knowing if you’re infected can help save lives while protecting others.
WXYZ-TV ABC 7 Detroit

Fire crews in California launch mobile health support to help screen for COVID-19

Sacramento-area fire crews and public health officials are launching a new initiative to provide mobile health support to the community. “We’re essentially bridging the gap between emergency services and the hospital,” Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District Capt. Scott Perryman told FOX40. Think of it as an urgent care center on wheels. “They’ll let us know is it something simple like a strep throat or is it seasonal allergies or is it something more significant,” said Perryman. The initiative is driven by an effort to screen possible COVID-19 cases among people who may not be able to travel to be tested. “We have the ability swab and test and get it to the laboratory right then and there,” explained Perryman. Typical ambulances provide immediate lifesaving care and take people to the hospital, but the teams in these trucks are different.
KTXL-TV FOX 40 Sacramento

South Carolina creating COVID-19 database for first responders

The South Carolina Department of Health is creating a database that will give first responders more information about the places and people they’re responding to during the coronavirus pandemic. The announcement came on Tuesday during a news conference with Dr. Linda Bell, DHEC’s Director of the Bureau of Communicable Disease Prevention and Control. “We are setting up a system through a secure database to provide to EMS dispatchers information that they need to make decisions about response,” Bell said. Department of health officials said they’re hoping to have the system up and running early next week. The details of this system are limited, but it did come after the South Carolina Association of Counties wrote a letter last week to Governor Henry McMaster.
WMBF-TV NBC 32 Myrtle Beach

First responders urge Minnesota lawmakers to ease path to workers’ compensation for those with COVID-19

First responders and emergency workers are urging Minnesota lawmakers to ease their ability to obtain workers’ compensation should they contract COVID-19. A bill before lawmakers would encompass firefighters, paramedics, police, nurses, doctors and people providing child care to emergency responders, among several others whose jobs put them at particular risk of contracting the disease that had infected 689 and killed 17 Minnesotans as of Wednesday. “It’s very important, because first responders, nurses, other folks that we have included in this bill, we are going to be working directly with populations that are susceptible to COVID-19, or, already have COVID-19,” said St. Paul fire Capt. Chris Parsons, who spearheaded the effort. “We are going to be put at a greater risk than the general public [for] contracting this illness.”
Star Tribune

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