Our goal was to quantify healthcare clinician (HCC) absenteeism in the emergency department (ED) during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) surge and to identify potential interventions that may mitigate the number of absences.
Electronic influenza surveillance systems aid in health surveillance and clinical decision-making within the emergency department (ED). While major advances have been made in integrating clinical decision-making tools within the electronic health record (EHR), tools for sharing surveillance data are often piecemeal, with the need for data downloads and manual uploads to shared servers, delaying time from data acquisition to end-user. Real-time surveillance can help both clinicians and public health professionals recognize circulating influenza earlier in the season and provide ongoing situational awareness.
Our aim was to measure hepatitis C virus (HCV) screening and linkage-to-care rates in an urban emergency department (ED) before and after implementing an HCV viral RNA (vRNA) reflex testing protocol within a HCV screening program for at-risk patients. Our hypothesis was that using a reflex testing protocol would increase HCV testing rates of at-risk patients in the ED, which would increase the linkage-to-care rate.
Rabies is a fatal disease with a 91% mortality rate in the United States. Current treatment of rabies consists of post-exposure prophylaxis treatment involving a complicated vaccination regimen. Studies conducted in other countries have found that patients do not complete their rabies vaccination treatment due to forgetting about their treatment, lack of time for visits, and the financial burden of treatment. However, little is known about why patients do not complete the rabies series in the US. The objective of this study was to determine the reasons why patients in the US do not complete rabies treatment.
In this observational study, we evaluated time-of-day variation in the incidence of fever that is seen at triage. The observed incidence of fever could change greatly over the day because body temperatures generally rise and fall in a daily cycle, yet fever is identified using a temperature threshold that is unchanging, such as ≥38.0° Celsius (C) (≥100.4° Fahrenheit [F]).
The Philadelphia Department of Public Health (PDPH) declared a public health emergency due to hepatitis A in August 2019.1 Our emergency department (ED) serves a population with many of the identified risk factors for hepatitis A transmission. This study examines the impact of an ED-based hepatitis A vaccination program, developed in partnership with the PDPH, on incidence of hepatitis A infection and hospital admission.
Emergency physicians are on the front lines of treating patients with highly infectious respiratory diseases. Personal protective equipment is one defense against contamination from droplet and aerosol secretions. Intubation is a procedure that greatly can increase provider’s risk of exposure. Utilization of an intubation box has been discussed and recommended on social media platforms. There has been scant literature demonstrating the effectiveness of such devices. This study aimed to determine degree of droplet contamination to the intubator utilizing a novel barrier enclosure with a fluorescent simulated respiratory contagion. This model confirmed both added protection to the providers preforming intubation, and reduction of spread of the droplets when such a device is applied to patient care.
Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has spread rapidly since December 2019, resulting in a pandemic that has, as of May 24, 2020, yielded over 5.3 million confirmed cases and over 340,000 deaths.1 As businesses move to safely reopen and frontline healthcare workers (HCW) continue to face this crisis, it is essential that health officials know who in the population is at the greatest risk of mortality if hospitalized and, therefore, has the greatest need to protect themselves from being infected. We examined the factors that increase the risk of mortality among hospitalized COVID-19 patients.
Rapid spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in the United States, especially in New York City (NYC), led to a tremendous increase in hospitalizations and mortality. There is very limited data available that associates outcomes during hospitalization in patients with COVID-19.
Current recommendations for diagnostic imaging for moderately to severely ill patients with suspected coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) include chest radiograph (CXR). Our primary objective was to determine whether lung ultrasound (LUS) B-lines, when excluding patients with alternative etiologies for B-lines, are more sensitive for the associated diagnosis of COVID-19 than CXR.
Intubation of patients suspected of having coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is considered to be a high-risk procedure due to the aerosolization of viral particles. In an effort to minimize the risk of exposure and optimize patient care, we sought to develop, test, provide training, and implement a standardized algorithm for intubating these high-risk patients at our institution.
As of April 21, 2020, more than 2.5 million cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus, have been reported in 210 countries and territories, with the death toll at 171,810. Both chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine have gained considerable media attention as possible therapies, resulting in a significant surge in demand. In overdose, both medications can cause severe, potentially life-threatening effects. Here, we present a brief overview of the pharmacology of chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine, manifestations of toxicity, and treatment considerations.
“I was able to tell him that I am naming my son after him,” she confessed. I found myself more emotional than anticipated by this stranger’s news. I met Sarah (name has been changed) a week prior to this phone call, because, as a doctor in the emergency department, I had treated her in our “COVID tent.” Like the majority of patients battling COVID-19, she was medically stable and safely discharged home to endure the path toward physical recovery.
The COVID-19 pandemic will, slowly, and with some hiccups and many tragedies, pass into memory. This coronavirus may disappear and later recur, continue endemically under vaccine control, or simply attenuate and vanish.1 The economy and healthcare systems will return to a new normal, some parts more quickly than others. Like the multiple plagues humanity has endured since our ancestors gathered into cities, it will generate recriminations for slow and misguided responses, profiteering, and overor underreacting to economic, social, and healthcare events that will, retrospectively, be obvious.2 The individuals and organizations most culpable for exacerbating the disaster (e.g., many national and some state political leaders) will escape responsibility while they scapegoat others and try to re-write history. Heroes, whether individuals who helped provide clear risk communication and leadership (e.g., Anthony Fauci, MD, of the National Institutes of Health; Sanjay Gupta, MD, of CNN; and Li Wenliang, MD, who died while trying to notify the world about the pandemic) or groups that persevered in the face of fear and life-threatening danger (e.g., emergency department, intensive care unit, emergency medical services, and other critical healthcare staff and first responders) will emerge. Without fanfare, most will return to their normal jobs, scarred but proud of their efforts. As they have before, pundits and scholars will write endlessly about the pandemic’s cause, effects, and ways to ameliorate the next pandemic’s brutal destruction of lives and ways of life. The problem is, we have done all this before and seem not to have learned the lessons our predecessors taught.
For patients with COVID-19, several characteristics have been identified that may be associated with adverse outcomes. However, there is a paucity of data regarding the effect of obesity on young adult patients with COVID-19. We sought to identify whether adverse outcomes are associated with obesity, particularly in COVID-19 patients 45 years and younger.
SARS-CoV-2, a novel coronavirus, manifests as a respiratory syndrome (COVID-19) and is the cause of an ongoing pandemic. The response to COVID-19 in the United States has been hampered by an overall lack of diagnostic testing capacity. To address uncertainty about ongoing levels of SARS-CoV-2 community transmission early in the pandemic, we aimed to develop a surveillance tool using readily available emergency department (ED) operations data extracted from the electronic health record (EHR). This involved optimizing the identification of acute respiratory infection (ARI)-related encounters and then comparing metrics for these encounters before and after the confirmation of SARS-CoV-2 community transmission.
Communication is complex in that what we say is not always what is heard. Communication that is intended to help can sometimes result in doing harm. The COVID-19 pandemic is a public health emergency. While we rapidly learn of the scientific and healthcare aspects of this disease, there is an opportunity to better understand the consequences of well-intentioned communication by experts.
In March 2020, the World Health Organization declared the spread of SARS-CoV-2 a global pandemic. To date, coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) has spread to over 200 countries, leading to over 1.6 million cases and over 99,000 deaths. Given that there is neither a vaccine nor proven treatment for COVID-19, there is currently an urgent need for effective pharmacotherapy. To address the need for an effective treatment of SARS-CoV-2 during the worldwide pandemic, this systematic review of intravenous (IV) remdesivir was performed. Remdesivir, an anti-viral prodrug originally developed to treat Ebola virus disease, has shown broad spectrum activity against the Coronavirus family. A recent case report reported improvement of clinical symptoms with remdesivir in a patient with COVID-19. After conducting a systematic search of 18 clinical trial registries and three large scientific databases, we identified 86 potentially eligible items. Following removal of duplicates (n = 21), eligible studies were reviewed independently by two authors. After the first round of screening, inter-rater agreement was 98.5% (κ = 0.925). After the second round of full-text screening, inter-rater agreement was 100%. A total of seven ongoing and recruiting clinical trials of remdesivir (100–200 milligrams, intravenous [IV]) were included. We identified the following primary outcomes: patients discharged (n = 2); time to clinical status improvement (n = 2); improved O2 saturation (n = 2); body temperature normalization (n = 2); and clinical status (n = 1). Secondary outcomes in all identified studies included documentation of adverse events. Phase 3 trials are expected to be completed between April 2020–2023. Therefore, despite supportive data from in vitro and in vivo studies, the clinical effectiveness of IV remdesivir for treatment of COVID-19 and potential side effects remain incompletely defined in the human population.
It is difficult to determine illness severity for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients, especially among stable-appearing emergency department (ED) patients. We evaluated patient outcomes among ED patients with a documented ambulatory oxygen saturation measurement.
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) can be a life-threatening lung disease or a trivial upper respiratory infection depending on whether the alveoli are involved. Emergency department (ED) evaluation of symptomatic patients with normal vital signs is frequently limited to chest auscultation and oro-nasopharyngeal swabs. We tested the null hypothesis that patients being screened for COVID-19 in the ED with normal vital signs and without hypoxia would have a point-of-care lung ultrasound (LUS) consistent with COVID-19 less than 2% of the time.
The novel coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic in the United States (US) prompted widespread containment measures such as shelter-in-place (SIP) orders. The goal of our study was to determine whether there was a significant change in overall volume and proportion of emergency department (ED) encounters since SIP measures began.
The novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) is the cause of COVID-19, which has had a devastating international impact. Prior reports of testing have reported low sensitivities of nasopharyngeal polymerase chain reaction (PCR), and reports of viral co-infections have varied from 0–20%. Therefore, we sought to determine the accuracy of nasopharyngeal PCR for COVID-19 and rates of viral co-infection.
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic presents unique challenges to frontline healthcare workers. In order to safely care for patients new processes, such as a plan for the airway management of a patient with COVID-19, must be implemented and disseminated in a rapid fashion. The use of in-situ simulation has been used to assist in latent problem identification as part of a Plan-Do-Study-Act cycle. Additionally, simulation is an effective means for training teams to perform high-risk procedures before engaging in the actual procedure. This educational advance seeks to use and study in-situ simulation as a means to rapidly implement a process for airway management in patients with COVID-19.
The COVID-19 pandemic has strained the healthcare system. It has led to the use of temporary isolation systems and less-then-optimum patient placement configurations because of inadequate number of isolation rooms, both of which can compromise provider safety. Three key elements require special attention to reduce the maximum and average aerosolized contaminant concentration exposure to a healthcare worker in any isolation system: flow rate; air changes per hour; and patient placement. This is important because concentration exposures of aerosolized contaminants to healthcare workers in hospitals using temporary isolation systems can reach levels 21–30 times greater than a properly engineered negative pressure isolation room. A working knowledge of these three elements can help create a safer environment for healthcare workers when isolation rooms are not available.