15 Jan 5 Events that Impacted Emergency Medical Services in 2015
Five events caused much debate and discussion among the emergency medical services professionals and changed the way many in the EMS community view their role and profession. These top five events in 2015 were turning points for the EMS community.
Drug overdoses became the leading cause of injury-related death in the US, surpassing car crashes.
Prescription opioid overdoses were the most common. EMS providers and police and other public safety agencies stocked up on the drug naloxone, the most common overdose antidote available in the US. CVS started selling over the counter Narcan in 12 new states, and experts issued guidelines for the availability and use of naxolone. The new American Heart Association CPR guidelines included recommendations for use of naloxone for patients with a pulse but not breathing normally. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a Narcan nasal spray in November for use among the public.
The American Heart Association updated its CPR guidelines in October.
The “2015 Guidelines Update for CPR and ECC” addressed compression rates and depths, defibrillation, medications and post-arrest care. The new guidelines emphasized how quick action by bystanders and health care providers, proper training, use of technology and coordinated efforts can increase survival from cardiac arrest.
New terrorist threats emerged throughout the world, significantly impacting emergency medical services.
The coordinated terrorist attacks that took place in Paris recently marked the deadliest violence in Paris since World War II. These attacks took on a new dimension with medics and other health care providers handling over 302 victims, in what was described as “hybrid targeted violence” (HTV). Experts debated what HTV attacks mean and how first responders need to prepare and coordinate a response to such events.
The Obama Administration launched its “Stop the Bleed” campaign, to raise awareness about public access to bleeding control kits.
The goal of the campaign was to install severe bleeding kits in public spaces, such as schools, to help those dealing with active shooter casualties to stop life threatening bleeding as soon as possible.
EMS and fire departments began new training and considered body armor implementation after numerous attacks occurred across the country of EMS personnel.
The stabbings of two Detroit medics and two San Diego firefighters raised public awareness of the dangers EMS providers face each day. The states of New York and Minnesota implemented or introduced new legislation to make it a felony to assault an EMS professional in light of the attacks on medics in their states.
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