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Updated: 3 hours 56 min ago

Toddler Dies after Ambulance is Hit by Drunk Driver

Tue, 02/13/2018 - 12:01

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) — Police in North Carolina say the toddler who was badly hurt after an ambulance crash has died.

A news release from the Winston-Salem Police Department Monday night says it was informed at 6:05 p.m. Monday that the boy had died at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. Authorities offered no additional details.

The boy was being taken to the hospital around 1 a.m. Sunday when a drunken driver hit the medical transport, causing it to roll over on its side, police said.

Gary Oakes of Wise, Virginia, said in a brief phone interview Monday that his 3-year-old grandson had been under medical care before the crash but didn't want to elaborate. Asked how the family was coping, Oakes said, "It's devastating."

The boy's mother, Lyndsay Ann Oakes of Wise, was on the ambulance with him and suffered minor injuries. Reached by phone, she declined to be interviewed.

It's not clear why the boy was being treated before the crash, but Police Lt. Rick Newnum has said the boy was in stable condition before the ambulance was hit. The boy's name hasn't been released.

The driver of the car that hit the ambulance, 27-year-old Jose Martin Duran Romero, originally faced charges including driving while intoxicated and driving without a license. There was no immediate words on additional charges against Romero.

It wasn't clear from jail records if he had an attorney, and no home listing for him could be found. Romero's passenger was charged with failure to render aid.

Newnum said Monday that the men tried to leave the scene on foot, but one was kept from leaving by a witness to the crash. The other man was soon apprehended by police.

Categories: EMS

Helicopter Crash in Grand Canyon Leaves 3 Dead, 4 Injured

Mon, 02/12/2018 - 18:29

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — A helicopter crash that killed three British tourists and left four others critically injured happened on tribal land in the Grand Canyon where air tours are not as highly regulated as those inside the national park.

The group of friends was in Las Vegas to celebrate a birthday and took a helicopter sightseeing tour of the Grand Canyon on the Hualapai reservation, family and friends said. Killed were veterinary receptionist Becky Dobson, 27; her boyfriend Stuart Hill, a 30-year-old car salesman; and his brother, Jason Hill, a 32-year-old lawyer.

Unlike the national park, air tours on the Hualapai reservation are not subject to federal regulations that restrict routes, impose curfews and cap the amount of flights over the Grand Canyon each year. The Federal Aviation Administration granted the Hualapai Tribe an exemption nearly two decades ago after finding that the regulations would harm the tribe's economy where tourism is a major driver.

Most of the flights over the reservation originate from Las Vegas, and air tour operators aggressively market them. The pilots can fly between canyon walls and land at the bottom next to the Colorado River on the reservation, which isn't allowed at the park other than for emergency operations.

Landing pads sit upstream and downstream from where the copter owned by Papillon Grand Canyon Helicopters crashed Saturday, constantly ferrying people on and off aircraft.

The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating what led to the crash in a remote area where rescuers had to fly in, hike to the site and use night-vision goggles to find their way around, Hualapai Nation police Chief Francis Bradley said. Windy conditions and the rugged terrain made it difficult to reach the wreckage.

The flight left Boulder City, Nevada, destined for Quartermaster Canyon near the west rim of the Grand Canyon, NTSB lead investigator Stephen Stein said. The air tour pilots there operate off a common frequency, talking to each other and explaining their direction, though it's not mandatory, he said.

Categories: EMS

New Report Sheds Light on Opioid Industry's Role in Epidemic

Mon, 02/12/2018 - 05:39

WASHINGTON (AP) — Companies selling some of the most lucrative prescription painkillers funneled millions of dollars to advocacy groups that in turn promoted the medications' use, according to a report released Monday by a U.S. senator.

The investigation by Missouri's Sen. Claire McCaskill sheds light on the opioid industry's ability to shape public opinion and raises questions about its role in an overdose epidemic that has claimed hundreds of thousands of American lives. Representatives of some of the drugmakers named in the report said they did not set conditions on how the money was to be spent or force the groups to advocate for their painkillers.

The report from McCaskill, ranking Democrat on the Senate's homeland security committee, examines advocacy funding by the makers of the top five opioid painkillers by worldwide sales in 2015. Financial information the companies provided to Senate staff shows they spent more than $10 million between 2012 and 2017 to support 14 advocacy groups and affiliated doctors.

The report did not include some of the largest and most politically active manufacturers of the drugs.

The findings follow a similar investigation launched in 2012 by a bipartisan pair of senators. That effort eventually was shelved and no findings were ever released.

While the new report provides only a snapshot of company activities, experts said it gives insight into how industry-funded groups fueled demand for drugs such as OxyContin and Vicodin, addictive medications that generated billions in sales despite research showing they are largely ineffective for chronic pain.

"It looks pretty damning when these groups were pushing the message about how wonderful opioids are and they were being heavily funded, in the millions of dollars, by the manufacturers of those drugs," said Lewis Nelson, a Rutgers University doctor and opioid expert.

The findings could bolster hundreds of lawsuits that are aimed at holding opioid drugmakers responsible for helping fuel an epidemic blamed for the deaths of more than 340,000 Americans since 2000.

Categories: EMS

Flu Season, Still Worsening, Now as Bad as 2009 Swine Flu

Fri, 02/09/2018 - 10:04

NEW YORK (AP) — The flu has further tightened its grip on the U.S. This season is now as bad as the swine flu epidemic nine years ago.

A government report out Friday shows 1 of every 13 visits to the doctor last week was for fever, cough and other symptoms of the flu. That ties the highest level seen in the U.S. during the 2009 swine flu pandemic.

And it surpasses every winter flu season since 2003, when the government changed the way it measures flu.

This season started early and has been driven by a nasty type of flu that tends to put more people in the hospital and cause more deaths.

But its long-lasting intensity has surprised experts, who are still sorting out why it's been so bad.


Categories: EMS

Regulators Say Herbal Supplement Kratom Contains Opioids

Thu, 02/08/2018 - 00:07

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. health authorities say an herbal supplement promoted as an alternative pain remedy contains the same chemicals found in opioids, the addictive family of drugs at the center of a national addiction crisis.

The Food and Drug Administration analysis, published Tuesday, makes it more likely that the supplement, kratom, could be banned by the federal government.

The FDA also said it has identified 44 reports of death involving kratom since 2011, up from 36 reported in November.

Sold in various capsules and powders, kratom has gained popularity in the U.S. as a treatment for pain, anxiety and drug dependence. Proponents argue that the substance is safer than opioid painkillers like OxyContin and Vicodin, which have contributed to an epidemic of drug abuse. More than 63,000 Americans died in 2016 from drug overdoses, mostly from opioids.

FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb reiterated that there are no FDA-approved medical uses for kratom, which is derived from a plant native to Southeast Asia.

"Claiming that kratom is benign because it's 'just a plant' is shortsighted and dangerous," Gottlieb said in a statement. "It's an opioid. And it's an opioid that's associated with novel risks because of the variability in how it's being formulated, sold and used recreationally."

FDA scientists analyzed the 25 most common chemical compounds in kratom and concluded that they behave like those found in opioids including morphine.

Kratom remains legal under federal law. But FDA inspectors have been seizing and destroying shipments at international mail facilities for months.

The FDA has submitted its review to the Drug Enforcement Administration, which is considering whether to place kratom in the same category of illegal drugs as heroin and LSD. The agency was poised to take that step in the summer of 2016, but delayed a decision after a flood of public complaints, including a letter signed by 62 members of Congress and a protest at the White House by kratom supporters.

Categories: EMS

Workers Try to Shore Up Tilted Buildings After Taiwan Quake

Wed, 02/07/2018 - 23:34

HUALIEN, Taiwan (AP) — Workers placed steel beams to stabilize a dangerously tilted building while rescuers on the other side try to pull survivors from their residences Thursday morning, more than a day after a deadly quake shook Taiwan's east coast.

The Yunmen Tsuiti building was one of several damaged by late Tuesday's magnitude-6.4 quake. At least four midsized buildings in worst-hit Hualien county leaned at sharp angles, their lowest floors crushed into mangled heaps of concrete, glass, iron and other debris. Firefighters climbed ladders hoisted against windows to reach residents inside apartments.

The National Fire Agency reported Thursday that death toll had risen to 10 people. More than 260 people were injured and 58 were unaccounted for. At least three of the dead were tourists from the mainland, Chinese state broadcaster CCTV reported.

Japan's Foreign Ministry said nine Japanese were among the injured. Six mainland Chinese were also injured, the Chinese Communist Party-run People's Daily reported.

President Tsai Ing-wen reassured the public every effort would be made to rescue survivors. On her Facebook page, Tsai said she "ordered search and rescue workers not to give up on any opportunity to save people, while keeping their own safety in mind."

At the Yunmen Tsuiti building, clothes and other personal items were visible on the balconies as the rescue work continued.

The shifting of the buildings was likely caused by soil liquefaction, when the ground loses its solidity under stress such as the shaking of an earthquake.

The quake also buckled roads and disrupted electricity and water supplies to thousands of households.

Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said his country was dispatching a rescue team to help in the search effort.

Categories: EMS

6 Dead, 76 Missing After Strong Quake Hits Taiwan

Wed, 02/07/2018 - 10:13

HUALIEN, Taiwan (AP) — Rescuers worked Wednesday to free people trapped after a strong earthquake near Taiwan's east coast caused several buildings to cave in and tilt dangerously. At least six people were killed and 76 could not be contacted following the quake.

At least four midsized buildings in worst-hit Hualien county leaned at sharp angles, their lowest floors crushed into mangled heaps of concrete, glass, iron and other debris. Firefighters climbed ladders hoisted against windows to reach residents inside apartments.

The shifting of the buildings after the magnitude 6.4 quake late Tuesday night was likely caused by soil liquefaction, when the ground beneath a building loses its solidity under stress such as that caused by an earthquake.

In this photo released by the Taiwan Presidential Office, Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen, center back-facing, is briefed at the site of a collapsed building from an earthquake, Wednesday, Feb. 7, 2018, in Hualien, southeastern Taiwan. Rescuers continue to search for dozens of unaccounted people for in several buildings damaged by a strong earthquake near the island's eastern coast. (Taiwan Presidential Office via AP)

A maintenance worker who was rescued after being trapped in the basement of the Marshal Hotel said the force of the earthquake was unusual even for a region used to temblors.

"At first it wasn't that big ... we get this sort of thing all the time and it's really nothing. But then it got really terrifying," the worker, Chen Ming-hui, told Taiwan's official Central News Agency after he was reunited with his son and grandson following the quake. "It was really scary."

Two employees of the hotel were killed in the disaster, CNA said. Taiwan's National Fire Agency said rescuers freed another employee from the rubble.

Categories: EMS

United Hatzalah Opens New Chapter in Kiev, Inaugurates Ambulance in Uman

Tue, 02/06/2018 - 19:41

Jerusalem - A moving ceremony took place on Sunday night in the central Chabad house of Kiev in Ukraine. 20 new volunteer EMTs graduated from their lengthy training program and will now be joining United Hatzalah's worldwide network of EMS volunteers. The EMT first responders will provide first aid and EMS coverage to all medical emergencies that take place in the Jewish communities in and around Kiev and throughout Ukraine.

Among the attendees at the ceremony were the Vice President of United Hatzalah Eli Pollack, CEO of United Hatzalah Moshe Teitelbaum, Deputy CEO of United Hatzalah Lazar Hyman, Chief Rabbi of Kiev and Ukraine Rabbi Moshe Reuven Asman and other dignitaries.

Chapter Head of United Hatzalah in Ukraine Rabbi Hillel Kook said: “I am happy and excited that volunteers from all of the different Jewish communities in Kiev have come together to participate in the course and graduate together to help all of the various communities in the city. They will be joining the ranks of United Hatzalah which now has more than 50 volunteers between Kiev and Uman. We are always working on expanding our reach to include all of the Jewish communities around the country and we are working on opening courses and having volunteers in each of the Jewish communities throughout Ukraine.”

New EMS graduates pose in Chabad house in Kiev

On Monday evening, a graduation ceremony took place in Uman which saw an additional 20 EMS volunteers join the ranks of the organization in that city. In addition, United Hatzalah inaugurated a new ambulance that will be present at all times in the heart of the Jewish community in the city. It will be stationed next to the gravesite of Rabbi Nachman of Breslov in the city. The ambulance was donated by Square Hatzalah from New York and funded by Rabbi Eliezer Kestenbaum.

Categories: EMS

Beyond Lucid Technologies Deploys the MEDIVIEW ePCR and BEACON Prehospital Health Information Exchange in Colorado, Ohio, and Oklahoma

Tue, 02/06/2018 - 15:44

CONCORD, CA: Beyond Lucid Technologies, an award-winning health-and safety technology firm that makes software to connect EMS agencies and the care facility they serve, is proud to announce that in January 2018, it deployed the MEDIVIEW electronic patient care record platform (ePCR)—and its companion data access portal, the MEDIVIEW BEACON Prehospital Health Information Exchange, for export and integration of EMS data with care facilities—in Colorado, Oklahoma, and Ohio.                       

  • The COLORADO deployments include a fire service in greater Denver, and a countywide EMS service on the Western Slope.
  • The OHIO deployment is a fire service based in the Cincinnati area, which elected to transition to Beyond Lucid Technologies following the acquisition of Firehouse Software by ESO Solutions.
  • In OKLAHOMA, MEDIVIEW was deployed by one of the state’s fastest-growing private EMS agencies, which runs 9-1-1 responses, inter-facility transports, critical care transports, and special situation responses along the corridors from Oklahoma City north to Wichita, and east to Tulsa.

Each of these deployments includes access to the MEDIVIEW BEACON Prehospital Health Information Exchange, which enables care facilities to receive prehospital data in consumable formats—in as little as 30 seconds—so information captured en route arrives even before the ambulance does.  Such efficient data movement enables patient pre-registration, triage team activation, reduced wall times, and eliminates the need for faxes.  Unlike the months-long hospital-side data exchange projects required by other ePCR companies, MEDIVIEW BEACON can be deployed in under a week.  Jonathon Feit, Co-Founder & CEO of Beyond Lucid Technologies, said: “It’s an exciting time to be a data geek in the Fire and EMS business!”

According to Matt Miller, Owner/Director of Miller EMS in Medford, OK: “Our company experienced rapid growth since going into business in 2008.  We therefore needed a patient care reporting solution that let our administrative team focus on the company and where it was going. With patient care reporting as the backbone of our company’s viability, shortfalls from other programs were pulling our administrative team away from other important tasks.  Until we found MEDIVIEW, nothing really fit our needs. Other systems lost data, file searches were cumbersome, and vendors wanted to tell us what was best for us, rather than really listening and addressing our needs. The BLT team worked with us for several months to ensure that their product was tailored to us.  They delivered on every request we had and allowed ample time for our administrative team and field personnel to work with the program. We plan to continue growing and plan to rely on MEDIVIEW for the long haul, especially as we integrate even more closely with our local hospitals."

Categories: EMS

Passengers Recount Smoke, Blood on Crashed S. Carolina Train

Tue, 02/06/2018 - 10:24

CAYCE, S.C. (AP) — Passengers on a train that slammed into an empty freight train over the weekend in South Carolina, killing two Amtrak employees, described a smoky, bloody scene in 911 calls released to the news media.

"There's babies with their heads busted wide open, bleeding," one woman said to a dispatcher in a call released Tuesday to WIS-TV . "Everybody flew to the front of the train. ... Everything is everywhere."

In another call, a man described seeing smoke inside the cars and "a lot of people hurt." An Amtrak employee asks dispatchers to send "plenty of help" for the injured.

In interviews with The Associated Press, passengers have described seats ripped from their rows and luggage strewn about the passenger compartments after the crash early Sunday morning near Cayce (CAY-see), South Carolina. The conductor and engineer aboard the New York-to-Miami Amtrak train were killed when that craft collided with a CSX Corp. freight train parked on a side track. More than 100 passengers were treated at hospitals for injuries.

"We're on the train, but some of us have chest pains," another man told a dispatcher. "We need some help. ... I've got to sit down, I can't breathe."

Investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board said Monday that railway signals were out at the time of the crash while crews installed a safety system that could have prevented the exact type of wreck that killed engineer Michael Kempf and conductor Michael Cella.

Automated signals that could have warned the passenger train to stop before reaching the switch sending it down the side track were turned off as workers installed a GPS-based system called positive train control, or PTC, NTSB Chairman Robert Sumwalt said.

A day before, Sumwalt told reporters "an operational PTC is designed to prevent this type of incident."

Federal investigators also said a locked manual switch forced the passenger train onto the side track where the empty freight train was parked after having offloaded its cargo nearby.

Categories: EMS

Patients to Address Court in Doctor's Opioid Kickback Scheme

Mon, 02/05/2018 - 10:34

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Victims of a scheme in which a doctor prescribed them a highly addictive opioid spray in exchange for kickbacks are expected to tell a federal judge how their lives were affected, including stories of overdoses, monthslong withdrawals, weight loss and broken bones from falling while on the powerful drug.

Jerrold Rosenberg told one patient, "Stop crying, you're acting like a child," when she complained of severe side effects, which included losing 40 pounds and repeated vomiting for years, according to an excerpt of grand jury testimony filed by prosecutors in the case.

Thursday's hearing before U.S. District Judge Jack McConnell is scheduled to help him determine the severity of Rosenberg's crimes, including the number of victims. Rosenberg pleaded guilty in October to health care fraud and kickbacks conspiracy. He faces a maximum 15 years in prison.

The criminal case is one of several around the country brought against people associated with Insys Therapeutics and the prescribing of Subsys, which is meant only for cancer patients with severe pain. Rosenberg has admitted that he prescribed Subsys to people who didn't have cancer and that he took $188,000 in kickbacks for writing the prescriptions.

In documents filed last week, the U.S. Attorney's office in Providence laid out the stories of several patients who testified before a grand jury that they were hurt by Rosenberg's practices. Among them were two patients who overdosed but survived after receiving the opioid antidote Narcan, according to documents filed in the case.

Rosenberg's lawyer did not immediately return an email seeking comment Monday, but he said in a filing in December that he disputes the number of people hurt by Rosenberg's practices. He also disputes prosecutors' contention about the overdoses, saying there's no evidence the overdoses were caused by Rosenberg's prescriptions.

The patients were not identified by name in court papers.

Categories: EMS

New Report Details Misuse of Antipsychotics in Nursing Homes

Mon, 02/05/2018 - 10:18

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. nursing homes have significantly reduced the use of powerful antipsychotic drugs among their elderly residents, responding to pressure from many directions. Yet advocacy groups insist that overmedication remains a major problem, and want the pressure to intensify.

According to the latest data from the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, known as CMS, the percentage of long-term nursing home residents being given antipsychotic drugs dropped from about 24 percent in late 2011 to under 16 percent last year. Decreases were reported in all 50 states, with the biggest in Tennessee, California and Arkansas.

Dr. Jerry Gurwitz, chief of geriatric medicine at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, depicts the overall decrease as "one of the most dramatic changes I've seen in my career." He wonders, however, if some nursing homes might be finding other medications that sedate their patients into passivity without drawing the same level of scrutiny as antipsychotics.

Advocacy groups — including the Washington-based Center for Medicare Advocacy and AARP Foundation Litigation — say even the lower rate of antipsychotic usage is excessive, given federal warnings that elderly people with dementia face a higher risk of death when treated with such drugs.

"Given the dire consequences, it should be zero," said attorney Kelly Bagby of the AARP foundation, which has engaged in several court cases challenging nursing home medication practices. Bagby contends that the drugs are frequently used for their sedative effect, not because they have any benefit to the recipients.

The advocacy groups' long-running campaign was reinforced Monday with the release of a detailed report by Human Rights Watch urging federal and state authorities to take tougher measures against improper use of antipsychotic drugs.

"On paper, nursing home residents have strong legal protections of their rights, but in practice, enforcement is often lacking," said the report, based on interviews with more than 300 people and visits to 109 nursing homes in six states.

Categories: EMS

Leading Ambulance Manufacturers Braun Industries and Demers Ambulances Joining Forces

Fri, 02/02/2018 - 22:38

Beloeil, Quebec, and Van Wert, Ohio – Demers Ambulances, a Quebec-based leader in the design, manufacturing, and distribution of ambulances in Canada, is merging with Braun Industries, Inc., a leader in custom ambulance manufacturing based in Ohio serving customers throughout the U.S. The combination of expertise, trusted leadership, safety-driven products, values and cultures creates a leading player within the evolving specialty vehicle industry. The terms of the merger are not disclosed.

Demers is a Quebec entrepreneurial success and the oldest continuous ambulance manufacturer in North America with ambulances in service worldwide. For Demers, this merger helps the company realize its ambition of dramatically increasing its North American market share and competing on a global scale. The merger with Braun creates the second largest ambulance manufacturer in North America and provides greater scale to pursue innovation and international growth.

Braun is a family-owned company that has been manufacturing custom, high-quality ambulances since 1972. With an extensive dealer network, dedicated workforce and established brand throughout the U.S., Braun delivers hundreds of ambulances each year. For Braun, the merger provides an increased capacity to drive product enhancements, improve product value, and to better serve more customers across the U.S. network.

 “We are very pleased with our progress in strengthening our presence and pursuing growth,” said Alain Brunelle, CEO of Demers Ambulances. “Partnering with Braun provides us the right opportunity to better serve and service our customers, strengthen our employee base, and enhance our capacity to operate and innovate in a competitive, global industry. Together, we look forward to growing the combined company and to meeting the industry’s needs with even better products and service excellence.”

Categories: EMS

Leading Ambulance Makers Demers and Braun Announce Merger

Fri, 02/02/2018 - 08:45

Beloeil, Quebec, and Van Wert, Ohio – In a major industry move, Demers Ambulances, a Quebec-based leader in the design, manufacturing, and distribution of ambulances in Canada, is merging with Braun Industries, Inc., a leader in custom ambulance manufacturing based in Ohio serving customers throughout the U.S.

In a press conference held to announce the merger, Demers and Braun officials emphasized the great synergy between the two manufacturers; both are third-generation family businesses with deeply-rooted family values, a commitment to safety and a passion for their people.

Innovation & Growth

The goal of the merger is to give both brands a larger scale for innovation and growth while continuing to build highly-regarded products for the EMS industry and customizing vehicles to meet the needs of their customers—which has been a hallmark of both brands. The terms of the merger were not disclosed.

Demers is the oldest continuous ambulance manufacturer in North America, with ambulances in service worldwide. For Demers, the merger helps the company realize its ambition of dramatically increasing its North American market share and compete on a global scale.

“We are very pleased with our progress in strengthening our presence and pursuing growth,” said Alain Brunelle, CEO of Demers Ambulances. “Partnering with Braun provides us the right opportunity to better serve and service our customers, strengthen our employee base, and enhance our capacity to operate and innovate in a competitive, global industry. Together, we look forward to growing the combined company and to meeting the industry’s needs with even better products and service excellence. Our joint goal is to build the best and safest ambulances in the market.”

Categories: EMS

ESO Hires Brent Myers, M.D. as Chief Medical Officer

Thu, 02/01/2018 - 12:37

AUSTIN, TexasESO Solutions, Inc., the leading data and software company serving emergency medical services (EMS), hospitals and fire departments, today announced the hiring of Brent Myers, MD, MPH, FACEP, FAEMS as Chief Medical Officer.

“We are honored and excited to add someone with Brent’s passion, talent and expertise to the ESO team,” said Chris Dillie, President and CEO of ESO. “Brent will play a significant role in the success of our customers as we continue to strengthen the medical rigor behind our applications that help the agencies, hospitals and industry we support turn data into insights and actions that improve patient outcomes.”

Dr. Myers brings almost two decades of leadership experience as a medical practitioner, both in the field and in implementation of technologies to improve outcomes. Most recently, he was the Chief Medical Officer and Executive Vice President for Medical Operations for Evolution Health. Dr. Myers also serves as the President of the National Association of EMS Physicians. He has been the Director and Medical Director for Wake County Department of EMS, as well as held a senior medical consulting role with ESO. Dr. Myers holds an M.D. from the Wake Forest School of Medicine and a Master’s from the University of North Carolina School of Public Health. He is double board certified in the areas of Emergency Medicine and Emergency Medical Services (EMS).

“The focus on patient outcomes and value-based services in healthcare is not only changing the way we take care of people in our communities and blurring the lines between community safety and public health, it is also changing the expectations first responders, community paramedicine professionals, and emergency departments have for the role of software and technology regarding when, where and how we treat patients,” said Dr. Myers. “With the strength of their portfolio of products, ESO is at the forefront of helping agencies and organizations of all sizes and locations better share data, leverage those data to make more informed decisions, and ultimately improve patient outcomes by providing improved services more effectively and efficiently. ”

Categories: EMS

Lawmakers Put Medical Skills to Work After Train Crash

Thu, 02/01/2018 - 10:20

CROZET, Va. (AP) — Republican members of Congress with medical experience put their skills to work after a train carrying dozens of them crashed into a garbage truck in rural Virginia, killing one person in the truck and injuring others.

The lawmakers were on their way to a strategy retreat in the countryside when the collision occurred around 11:20 a.m. Wednesday in Crozet, about 125 miles (200 kilometers) southwest of Washington.

No serious injuries were reported aboard the chartered Amtrak train, which set out from the nation's capital with lawmakers, family members and staff for the luxury Greenbrier resort in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia. At least two other people in the truck were reported seriously hurt.

Rep. James Comer of Kentucky said about 100 Republican lawmakers were on the train when the crash made him jump out of his seat.

"I looked out the side of the window and then I could see a truck, just in pieces out the side of the window," Comer said. He said Capitol police officers quickly jumped off the train but came back and asked for any doctors to help.

Florida Rep. Neal Dunn, a former Army surgeon, said he and other lawmakers who are doctors joined other passengers who are nurses or paramedics and jumped out with the basic medical gear they had. They broke into three teams to help the injured people in the truck, he said.

"The first gentleman was somebody who had really, really, really devastating injuries. We did try to resuscitate, but ultimately you had to realize it wasn't possible," Dunn said.

The Albemarle County Police Department identified the passenger killed as Christopher Foley, 28, of Louisa County.

Dunn said another man in the truck was critically injured and a third was seriously hurt.

Categories: EMS

Helicopter Crashes into Calif. Home, Leaves 3 Dead, 2 Injured

Wed, 01/31/2018 - 09:58

NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. (AP) — Three people were killed and two others were injured when a helicopter crashed into a house in a suburban Southern California neighborhood just a few minutes after taking off, officials said.

The helicopter crashed into the house with such force that it was barely recognizable. The crushed metal sat in a heap on the side of the house, its tail rotor sticking out of the roof of a nearby home and a 6-foot chunk landing in the street in front of yet another house.

This still frame from video provided by KNBC-TV shows the wreckage of a Robinson R44 helicopter after it crashed into a home in Newport Beach, Calif., Tuesday, Jan. 30, 2018. (KABC-TV via AP)

"All of a sudden the house just shook and I thought, 'Oh my gosh, we're having an earthquake,'" said Marian Michaels, who lives behind the home in a gated community in Newport Beach where the helicopter crashed.

Roger Johnson was doing some woodwork when he heard the chopping sound of a helicopter's rotating blades and then a tremendous boom across the street.

"I turned to look out of the garage and that's when I see this piece of metal flying through the air and hitting a bush and garage door," Johnson said. "Then I heard someone scream — a real for-real horror scream, like something terrible had happened."

Johnson rushed to the wreckage and cautioned people to stop trying to pull out or move victims.

Four people were aboard the Robinson R44 helicopter when it went down. All four were among those killed or injured, and one person who was on the ground but outside of the house was also injured, Newport Beach fire and police officials said. They did not say which was which, or give any specifics about the injuries.

Audrey Ellis, who lives next to the house where the crash happened, was not home at the time but said her neighbors told her they were in the kitchen when the helicopter hit the bedroom of their house.

Categories: EMS

ESO Names Matt Walker Chief Operating Officer

Tue, 01/30/2018 - 12:39

AUSTIN, Texas-- ESO Solutions, Inc., the leading data and software company serving emergency medical services (EMS), fire departments and hospitals, today announced the addition of Matt Walker as Chief Operating Officer. In this role, Walker will focus on the success of ESO's customers, attracting and retaining talent, acquisition integration as well as building out the processes and tools necessary to scale the business as it experiences rapid growth.

"Matt brings a level of insight, business acumen and leadership expertise that will be invaluable to ESO as we realize our ambitions and deliver on our mission and vision for the industry," said Chris Dillie, President and CEO of ESO. "Matt has a unique blend of operations and general management experience that makes him eminently qualified to help us capitalize on the tremendous growth opportunities ahead of us. I am confident in Matt's ability to help us remain the market and innovation leader, scale our business and ensure our customers are successful."

Walker brings more than 25 years of experience helping businesses support their customers, scale their operations and deliver on their commitments. His accomplishments include improving business processes, leading and developing teams as well as the implementation of technology to enhance customer success. Most recently, he was the President, West Region, for Sharecare Health Data Services, a provider of secure electronic exchange, delivery and integration of Protected Health Information (PHI) to thousands of Healthcare Providers across the United States. Prior to Sharecare, Walker was the President, NIGP and Vendor Services, for Periscope Holdings. Walker holds an MBA in finance, marketing and health services management from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and a B.A. in Economics from Stanford University. 

"ESO has built an incredible portfolio of products that solves real-world problems for EMS agencies, fire departments and hospitals. We have the opportunity to partner with customers to greatly improve the health and safety of communities across the country," added Walker. "I'm honored to join this team and looking forward to what we can accomplish with the ESO team, our customers and partners, and the communities we serve."  

Categories: EMS

5 Ideas Win $10K Each in Ohio Opioid Science Challenge

Tue, 01/30/2018 - 11:07

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Virtual reality, neural feedback and digital therapy were among five ideas to help solve the U.S. opioid crisis that won a global technology challenge in Ohio on Tuesday.

Winners were selected from hundreds of ideas submitted by researchers, caregivers, service providers and individuals from Ohio, other states and nine countries. Each will receive $10,000 to take their idea to the next phase.

The $8 million Ohio Opioid Technology Challenge is modeled after the Head Health competition launched by the NFL, Under Armour and GE to address traumatic brain injuries sustained playing football. It's part of a two-pronged strategy Ohio is pursuing the deadly epidemic tied to prescription painkillers. It has also awarded $10 million in research-and-development grants.

Besides the top prizes awarded to ideas with the highest likelihood of success, 40 runners-up — 20 civilians and 20 technical professionals or experts — will be entered into a drawing to win $500 cash prizes.

The efforts, spearheaded by Republican Gov. John Kasich, come in a state among the hardest hit by the deadly opioid epidemic. There were 4,050 overdose deaths in Ohio in 2016, many linked to heroin and synthetic opioids like fentanyl.

Winner were:

— Judson Brewer (Worcester, Massachusetts): For a digital therapy centered on the psychological theory of mindfulness, which will extend ideas contained in his nationally-known Craving to Quit program to opioid addiction;

— Kinametechs LLC (Cincinnati, Ohio): For augmented reality-based interactive coaching system resembling glasses proposed by Yong Pei and the Kinametechs team that would use motion tracking to customize a surgical patient's physical rehabilitation routine one they arrive home from the hospital, reducing their demand for opioid painkillers. "It's like an expert sitting right in the glasses," Pei said in an interview.

— Lee Barrus (Oren, Utah): For an opioid risk assessment screening app suggested by Barrus and the team at InteraSolutions to identify patients with risk factors for opioid abuse. The idea is to enable medical professionals to flag at-risk patients earlier and direct them to alternatives to opioids for fighting pain.

Categories: EMS

Philadelphia's Safe Injection Site Plans Spark Questions

Sun, 01/28/2018 - 11:03

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Philadelphia wants to establish safe havens where people can inject drugs, an effort to combat skyrocketing opioid overdoses in the city.

They would be places where people could shoot up under the supervision of medical professionals who could administer an overdose antidote if necessary.

But there are more questions than answers on how it would work and what it would look like, and if it could even legally get up and running.

"We know from other centers that they save lives," Public Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley said in announcing the plans this week. "But it is complicated from a community perspective and it is complicated from a legal perspective."

A look at some questions and answers:


Philadelphia has the highest opioid death rate of any large U.S. city. More than 1,200 people fatally overdosed in Philadelphia in 2017, one-third more than 2016. This uptick follows the general surge in drug overdoses in the U.S. Nationally, deaths from drug overdoses skyrocketed 21 percent in 2016. The government figures released put 2016's drug deaths at over 63,000. Two-thirds of the drug deaths — about 42,000 — involved opioids, a category that includes heroin, methadone, prescription pain pills like OxyContin, and fentanyl.



People travel from across the country for Philadelphia's reputedly pure heroin. The center of the city's opioid crisis is the Kensington neighborhood — the poorest neighborhood in America's poorest big city. Empty factories there have created a prime locale for open-air drug markets and public transit and proximity to Interstate 95 allow buyers from outside the neighborhood easy access, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.



City officials will speak to organizations possibly interested in operating or funding such a facility and will engage with community members to hear their perspectives, said Ajeenah Amir, a spokeswoman for Democratic Mayor Jim Kenney.

Categories: EMS