Addiction, Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, JAMA, Opiods, UCLA / 03.12.2020 Interview with: Joseph Friedman, MD/PhD student David Geffen School of Medicine UCLA What is the background for this study? Response: Numerous researchers, clinicians, officials, harm reduction agencies, and people who use drugs have sounded the alarm that the COVID-19 pandemic is exacerbating the United States overdose crisis. However, data sources typically used to track overdoses in the US often have long lags that impede timely monitoring and response. For example, the CDC released preliminary overdose figures for 2019 in July 2020, and even these numbers may change. As they are available in near real-time, emergency medical services (EMS) data have increasingly been used as a source of up-to-date information to monitor epidemiological shifts during the COVID-19 pandemic. In this study, we used data from the National EMS Information System (NEMSIS), a large registry of over 10,000 EMS agencies in 47 states that represented over 80% of all EMS activations nationally in 2020. We used the data to track shifts in overdose-related cardiac arrests observed by EMS. (more…)
Author Interviews, Emergency Care, JAMA, Race/Ethnic Diversity / 09.09.2019 Interview with: Amresh D Hanchate, PhD Research Assistant Professor Department of Medicine, School of Medicine Boston University What is the background for this study? Response: National guidelines require EMS transportation to the nearest suitable hospital. To what extent this occurs and whether this varies by the race and ethnicity of the patient is unknown since there is little to no prior research on destination patterns of EMS-transported patients to hospitals. (more…)