EMS Director Highlights Challenges of Rural EMS

From JEMS:

Mayo — Lafayette County Emergency Medical Service Director Trevor Hicks recently expounded on emergency medical issues facing rural communities, something he says will most likely not improve much in the future.

“The biggest challenge we face in a rural community as far as providing emergency medical services is educating the public,” said Hicks. “We don’t make the rules locally. The rules are made elsewhere through the Department of Health and Human Services in Washington D.C. They’re passed along through the CMS division, which is the Center for Medicare/Medicaid Services. That dictates what we do.”

SC mom gives birth in hospital parking lot

From Fox Carolina:

An Upstate man said he witnessed a miracle when his wife gave birth to the family’s first daughter in a familiar, yet unexpected, place.

Clayton Holder quickly pulled up to the emergency room at Baptist Easley Hospital early Thursday morning with his pregnant wife in the passenger seat ready to give birth.

Using Your iPhone To Detect Ear Infections Also Keeps the Doctor Away

From Gizmodo:

Forget that daily apple. Researchers at Georgia Tech and Emory University have developed theRemotoscope, an accessory that turns the iPhone into an ear-inspecting otoscope so doctors can diagnose and treat kids remotely in the event of an ear infection.

It’s a simple clip-on attachment that puts a scope over the iPhone’s camera lens and flash allowing it to snap photos of a child’s ear canal. An accompanying app magnifies the image and sends it along to a pediatrician who can study it remotely. Ear infections can be caused by a virus or bacteria, the latter requiring antibiotics to treat. So parents could snap a photo of a child’s ear every morning allowing the physician to monitor the progress of the infection and prescribe antibiotics only if needed—which helps reduce the risk of antibiotic resistance.

From Humble Beginnings: The Birth of the Broselow Tape

From Emergency Physicians Monthly (hat tip: Whitecoat):

The process of creating that first Broselow Tape opened my eyes to how a bad system can confound even the most dedicated healthcare professionals. The system – estimating the weight, weight-based dosing, mgs per/kg, micrograms per kg, conversions to mLs, dilutions, equipment sizes, ventilator settings, missing critical equipment, fragile patients and stress – was a formula for disaster. Why was it a bad system?  Because there was no system!  In response to this problem, I teamed up with Bob Luten, one of the early PEDS EM leaders who was part of the original PALS subcommittee. We started working together to build a system. Our first step was to look at airway and other equipment needs and Bob headed up studies in the OR showing that length was the best determinant of correct ET tube size.

Hospitals fight for reimbursements for immigrant emergency care

From Fierce Healthcare:

The battle over Medicaid reimbursements for treatment of undocumented immigrants continues, as an administrative law judge on Tuesday heard arguments about a rule issued by Florida’s Agency for Health Care Administration, The News-Press reported.

Eighteen hospitals from the south Florida and Tampa Bay area are challenging the rule that would only give Medicaid payments for emergency services until a patient is deemed “stabilized,” the article noted.

The hospitals, including the South Broward Hospital District and Lee Memorial Health System, claimed they were wrongly denied Medicaid reimbursement for treating undocumented immigrants and that the “stabilization” standard lacks clarity.

They filed the case in August, saying the policy change is invalid because the agency implemented it without first holding public hearings, FierceHealthFinance previously reported.