With so much information and speculation being circulated about Ebola presentations in the United States, I want you – our members – to know what your College is doing on this issue.
The landscape about treatment and containment of this infectious disease is changing minute by minute. ACEP has been working in many ways to filter the information and provide you with a trusted source of updates. We also have many initiatives planned for next week, next month and beyond as we continue to help you in these challenging times and be a supportive advocate for our specialty and our patients. Advocating for your safety and making sure you have everything you need are our most important goals.
Here are some of the things we are doing:
- Immediately convene a panel of 8 emergency care infectious disease experts.
- Review materials pertinent to emergency care for dissemination to members.
- Respond to questions posted by members via an easily accessible form on the www.acep.org/ebola resource page.
- Develop repository of best practices for managing the patient with suspected and confirmed Ebola and work with CDC, WHO, and other federal, state and local agencies to develop protocols that can be implemented in hospitals with limited resources. Update the content regularly.
Resources on ACEP Website
- Consolidation of pertinent resources, including those from the Expert Panel, on www.acep.org/ebola with frequent updates.
- Continue to promote availability of resources through social media, e-newsletters and other communication vehicles.
Identify short and long-term legislative initiatives designed to assist our members and other health care providers to enhance their disaster preparedness:
- Advocate for regionalization protocols
- Enactment of trauma systems/emergency regionalization legislation
- Funding of a national grid of bio-containment hospital annexes,
- Increase funding for disaster preparedness
- Increase supplies of PPEs
- Additional resources for training and retention of first responders
- Good Samaritan liability protection for first responders in a national emergency
Communications with Members
- EM Today curates the media daily for a round-up of the most pertinent articles and editorials.
- Immediate dissemination of important information through social media, e-newsletters and stand-alone messages.
- Section listservs include the latest updates and guidelines from CDC to some of the most impacted sections – Air Medical Transport, Disaster Medicine, EMS-Prehospital Care, and Tactical Emergency Medicine.
- EMS Committee review of CDC guidelines to consider operational ‘suggestions’ on meeting the requirements or model practices.
Communication with the Public and the News Media
- Linking reporters with ACEP experts in infectious disease and disaster preparedness. ACEP is managing 10 to 20 calls a day from reporters on this issue. (a round-up of ACEP spokesperson in the news can be found at http://www.acep.org/Content.aspx?id=80956)
- Coordinated editorial about Ebola response for ACEP President Dr. Alex Rosenau published in USA Today.
- Developed talking points for use by ACEP spokespersons to conduct press interviews.
- Using responses from ACEP infectious disease and preparedness experts to craft public messages.
- New course on Ebola infection and emergency department response added to ACEP14 — “Ebola: Hemorrhagic Fever and the U.S. Experience” will be presented Tuesday, October 28, during ACEP14, the world’s largest meeting of emergency physicians.
- ACEP14 Ebola Courses – Three presentations from ACEP14, October 27-30, will be captured live and presented as free courses in ACEP eCME, the College’s online and mobile education platform to members and other EM colleagues. Each of the three courses will have a pretest, an audio and slide presentation of the lecture as it was delivered live in Chicago, and a post-test. Each of the courses also is approved for AMA PRA Category 1 Credit.™The courses are:
- Inside the Hot Zone: Highly Infectious Pathogens in the ED / David C. Pigott, MD, RDMS, FACEP, will identify those pathogens—including Ebola and anthrax—that are most likely to be encountered in the ED as well as those that present the greatest risk for health care providers and other personnel. This case-based review will include a discussion of appropriate barrier precautions, including personal protective equipment, as well as departmental and hospital-based infectious disease transmission precautions.
- Ebola: Hemorrhagic Fever and the U.S. Experience / David C. Pigott, MD, RDMS, FACEP; and Alexander P. Isakov, MD, FACEP will discuss the risk factors for exposure to the Ebola virus, the clinical features associated with, and considerations for, evaluation and management of patients with suspected or confirmed Ebola virus disease (EVD). They will highlight the most recent recommendations for infection control and prevention applicable for healthcare workers in both the out-of-hospital (EMS) and emergency department setting. Participants will be provided a framework that permits the delivery of optimal care to this special patient population while minimizing risk to members of the healthcare team.
- Infections From Abroad: Unwanted Souvenirs / Ever heard about “airport malaria?” Should you be worried about that “funny rash” on the Ugandan businessman? What medical advice do you give your sister who is planning a trip to Vietnam? Swaminatha Mahadevan, MD, FACEP, will identify infectious hotspots around the world and highlight “must-know facts” about travelers and visitors from these areas. In addition, find out what precautions travelers should consider as they plan their next great adventure abroad.
- “Emerging Infectious Diseases: Concepts in Preparing for and Responding to the Next Microbial Threat” – Two of the nation’s experts in disaster medicine, Kristi Koenig, MD, FACEP, and Carl Schultz, MD, FACEP, along with Cambridge University Press, have donated the “rough cut” of this chapter from the second edition of their book, Koenig and Schultz’s Disaster Medicine: Comprehensive Principles and Practice to help emergency physicians care for patients with a wide variety of emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases. It will be posted on the ACEP Ebola Resources page (www.acep.org/ebola) by Oct. 24, 2014. The chapter covers many diseases and a variety of issues such as resource allocation, preparedness training exercises, personnel, communications, and much more.
- “Innovations in Patient Safety Presented by ACEP, Urgent Matters, and the Emergency Medicine Patient Safety Foundation” is a 5-hour conference scheduled for Sunday, Oct. 26, in Chicago. It will be captured live, and the portions addressing error prevention in the care of infectious diseases such as Ebola will be made available as another free educational resource.
- “ACEP Advanced EMS Practitioners’ Forum and Workshop” is another education event scheduled for Oct. 26, in conjunction with ACEP14. It, too, will be recorded so that information related to prehospital response and precautions in infectious disease can be disseminated to a larger audience. There will be three presentations on Ebola and the Dallas experience.
- “Fighting Ebola by Design” is a 10-minute EDTalk in the innovatED space presented by HKS/MI2. These companies were involved in Project ER One, which was federally funded to develop design features for ED’s to address terrorism, disaster and epidemics of emerging diseases. Innovative design features developed for ER One will be presented, as well as how one can mitigate the risk of infection transfer. Key features of design and new technology will be discussed. This talk will be videotaped and made available to the public as soon as possible after the conference.
- Ebola response survey being developed for dissemination through our Emergency Medicine Patient Safety Network (EMPRN) to gather data on preparedness for Ebola, EV-D68 and other infectious diseases. Members will be asked about their need for education/resources/assistance from ACEP and/or government sources to effectively respond to an Ebola case in their hospital.
- Surveyed the Disaster Medicine Section, EMS Committee and Section and ACEP infectious disease experts about response needs and preparedness
Work with Other Organizations
- Meet with high-level officials at the CDC.
- Convene a meeting(s) with the American Hospital Association, Emergency Nurses Association, National Association of EMS Physicians, Emergency Medicine Residents’ Association, and other key stakeholders for information/resource sharing.
- Work with additional federal agencies, such as National Institutes of Health, Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, Emergency Care Coordination Center, Department of Homeland Security, and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, to develop resources for infectious disease response.
- Share information with top officers of the American Medical Association and other groups.
Regionalization will be a key discussion point in all conversations.
Alex M. Rosenau, DO, CPE, FACEP