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Measuring COVID-19 Fatalities Among EMS Providers

Measuring COVID-19 Fatalities Among EMS Providers

The devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic resonate around the world. Escalating infection and death rates are reported daily. While emergency medical services clinicians have been operating at the far forward front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic from the start, their infections, lost work time, long-term clinical manifestations and deaths have not been adequately reported or recorded.

In this article, we examine currently available EMS COVID-19 mortality data in order to describe the extent of EMS losses and to compare the risks for EMS clinicians to the risks for other related professions.

Throughout the pandemic, EMS clinicians with limited personal protective equipment (PPE) have been treating patients in their homes and at trauma sites where they have had little to no opportunity to maintain safe distances from patients.

They have to lift, move and carry their patients, increasing the possibility of mask leaks from movement and increasing respiratory demand from the effort. Sustained shortages of PPE have meant that EMS clinicians, their patients, their coworkers and their families have been at increased risk of contracting the virus.

September 24, 2020

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