September 25th letter from Dr. Robert Strang
Click here to read the September 25th letter from Dr. Robert Strang, Chief Public Health Officer, regarding the 2009/10 immunization program.
Departments of Health & Health Promotion and Protection H1N1 Bulletins
Click here to read the latest H1N1 Bulletin released by the Departments of Health & Health Promotion and Protection.
Previous H1N1 bulletins can be viewed here.
Frequently Asked Questions for the Philips FRx
Click here for the answers to frequently asked questions (FAQ) about the Philips FRx defibrillator.
September 2009 Mailout
In mid-September 2009, an information package was distributed to all EHS registered MFR agencies. This package contained updated EHS MFR Serivces contact information; a revised Program Document; a letter regarding insurance coverage for EHS registered Paramedics and MFRs; FAQs for the HeartStart FRx AED; a revised EHS MFR Consumables form; and an announcement pertaining to EHS MFR Services personnel changes.
The package is also available for download here.
Insurance coverage for Medical First Responders
Please click here to review an important letter from Robert Brown, EHS Director Field Operations, regarding insurance coverage for EHS registered Medical First Reponders and Paramedics.
EHS MFR Services welcomes Neil Mooy and bids farewell to Rob Boudreau
The EHS MFR Services team is pleased to welcome Neil Mooy to the position of MFR Program Development Paramedic, effective August 24, 2009. Neil has supervisory experience at EHS LifeFlight and the Medical Communications Centre, in addition to several years as a field paramedic. He maintains his certification as an Emergency Medical Dispatcher and is no stranger to work related to the EHS MFR program. We are confident that Neil will enjoy his new role as part of the MFR team and be a great asset to the program.
At the same time, we extend our thanks to Rob Boudreau for his dedication to the EHS Medical First Response program since 2005, as he moves on to a new position as Manager, Communty Learning & Special Services with Medavie EMS. Rob has worked diligently over the past four years to enhance the EHS MFR program through the development of educational modules and MFR competencies, improved consumables, and revised MFR patient care reports. He has always been committed to the mission and the vision of the EHS MFR program, and we are fortunate that he will continue to provide leadership for educational training and development in his new role.
EHS MFR Triage refresher training available online
The EHS MFR team recognizes that while Triage is one of the essential competencies required for tag re-registration, it is often difficult to secure an EHS-facilitated Triage refresher training session in your community.
We are pleased to announce that the Online Triage component of our website (in MFR Education) provides an alternative method of attaining this competency by reviewing a refresher presentation and completing a short quiz online. Upon successful completion of the Online Triage quiz, a certificate will be generated and must be submitted to the EHS MFR Services Registrar for credit toward re-registration. (Complete instructions are available at the end of the quiz.)
A fine balance...Jeff Fraser speaks about medical first response in Nova Scotia
This article in Firefighting in Canada magazine addresses pre-hospital emergency care, including Nova Scotia's MFRs who are referred to as "heart and soul of the emergency medical response system."
August 21 , 2009 - New Advice for H1N1 Care from NS Departments of Health/Health Promotion & Protection
New advice from the Public Health Agency of Canada means most Nova Scotians will no longer have to stay home for seven days if they contract HINI (human swine influenza).
People with HINI should stay home and minimize contact with others until they are: symptom-free, feeling well and able to resume normal day-to-day activities.
"This was determined by a national group of experts and the change comes as we learn more about the disease," said Dr. Maureen Baikie, deputy chief medical officer of health. "The advice around staying home is really a general rule of thumb. It may vary in some settings where people work with vulnerable populations."
The full press release is available here.
June 11, 2009 - Swine Flu Update from Dr. Robert Strang
As you may know, the World Health Organization today declared a Level 6 H1N1 (human swine influenza) pandemic, based on the transmission patterns of this new influenza virus around the world. This simply means the virus has spread to more locations; it does not mean the virus is more severe.
This was not a surprise. We were aware that this might happen, and we are prepared for it.
In Nova Scotia, we have had 79 cases of H1N1 (human swine influenza) to date. In most situations, the cases we’ve seen here in Nova Scotia have been typical flu-like illness, which patients can treat at home. We have had one case, in Capital District Health Authority, which required hospitalization. That patient had a pre-existing medical condition, and is now improving.
We continue, however, to take the virus seriously. We are preparing for the possibility that Nova Scotia might see more cases of H1N1 (human swine influenza), and with greater severity, with more people requiring hospitalization.
In Manitoba and in Nunavut, where numbers of cases continue to increase, a significant number of people from remote communities who’ve been infected with the virus have required hospitalization for severe illness. It is not clear why that’s the case. Regardless, together we need to prepare Nova Scotia’s healthcare system for the possibility that we may see more cases of this virus, and more severe cases. We must also be prepared for the strain that could place on the system.
I would encourage you and your organization(s) to also prepare for the potential that this virus could return with increased frequency and severity. You can do this by ensuring your own business continuity plans are in place and by keeping up-to-date on the most current information.
Please remember that prevention is always the best way to prevent flu-like illness. Please take note of, and share, the following key tips to staying well:
• Cough or sneeze into your sleeve or arm;
• Frequently clean and disinfect common surfaces and items such doorknobs and counters;
• Stay away from public places if you are sick.
Visit www.gov.ns.ca/hpp/cdpc/h1n1-influenza-posters.asp for general handwashing hygiene posters you can post in your office or facility.
Thank you for your support and your cooperation.
Robert Strang MD, MHSc., FRCPC
Chief Public Health Officer
Department of Health Promotion and Protection
Swine Influenza Information
As of April 26th, our call-taking procedure in our EHS Medical Communications Centre was amended to include requests for patient travel history from anyone reporting symptoms of the swine flu virus.
The safety of our Medical First Responders is of paramount importance. If any calls are received at our EHS Medical Communications Centre in which a patient reports symptoms that are consistent with this illness, or if the patient reports that they have potentially been in contact with a carrier of the illness, Medical First Response will not be sent to the call. These calls will be triaged on an incident-by-incident basis with input from senior members of our medical team.
For information pertaining to the swine flu please visit www.gov.ns.ca/hpp/cdpc/swine-influenza.asp.
Public Health Agency of Canada general inquiries hotline: 1-800-454-8302
Swine Flu Q&As from Health Promotion and Protection
The Nova Scotia Department of Health Promotion and Protection has created a swine flu Q&A document (PDF) for health care professionals in our province.
Please visit the HPP website for additional information.
March 2009 Mailout
In mid-March 2009, an information package was distributed to all EHS registered MFR agencies. This package contained updated revised Program Documents, the announcement of the HeartStart FRx AED initiative, First Response Agency information and confidentiality forms the EHS Medical First Response Program 2008 Annual Report, and the 9th Annual Nova Scotia EMS Symposium brochure..
The package (exclusive of the MFR Annual Report) is also available for download here.
The EHS MFR Program 2008 Annual Report is available for download here.
AED - Important Information
February 26, 2009
EHS MFR Services is pleased to announce that the Philips HeartStart FRx has been selected as the preferred defibrillator device for the EHS MFR Program.
LIFEPAK 500 defibrillators previously provided by EHS to registered and fully sponsored EHS MFR agencies will be replaced with new HeartStart FRx devices in the near future. In-service training will also be provided.
Please review the attached letter for more information on this initiative.
More information on oxygen exhange
Praxair Medigas requests that customers please utilize the green labels attached to each oxygen bottle to indicate whether the bottle is FULL-IN-USE or EMPTY.
When cylinders are being returned it is helpful to use that industry standard to ensure the empty containers are returned and the full cylinders are ready for use.
When returning a bottle to the empty rack at the base, remove the portion that indicates full or in use and leave the empty portion on the bottle. For larger bottles, leave the tag outside of the cap, through the hole in the cap if possible.
Physio-Control Canada Recall Notice
Physio-Control Canada has issued a recall notice for LIFEPAK CR Plus and LIFEPAK Express automated external defibrillators manufactured between November 2006 and March 2008. Please note, this recall does not apply to LIFEPAK 500 AEDs.
Reminder to all EHS MFR Agencies
Please remember to bring in one (1) empty oxygen cylinder to exchange for one (1) full cylinder on a regular basis.
It is important that you do not "save up" your empty cylinders and exchange 3 or 4 at a time, as this depletes the normal inventory and may prohibit EHS from providing oxygen to other EHS MFR agencies and the EHS ambulances.
Thank you for your consideration and cooperation.
Did you know...?
* EHS Emergency Health Services recently approved funding related to MFR training reimbursement to approved fully sponsored EHS MFR agencies.
- Only new, fully sponsored EHS MFR agencies will receive training costs reimbursed to the agency at a maximum rate of $150 per person, to a maximum of $1,500.
- Each consecutive year, a fully sponsored EHS MFR agency is entitled to receive reimbursement for MFR training of two (2) persons at a maximum rate of $150/person.
- For more information, please review Program Document No. 12008.00.
* EHS sponsored MFR agencies with compatible non-expired defibrillator pads can exchange these pads with the ambulance on scene, if time permits. Defibrillator pads with six (6) months remaining in their shelf-life and still in the original package may be exchanged by contacting EHS MFR Services at (902) 832-8356.
* Anyone who is 19 years of age or older, has successfully completed MFR training by and EHS approved MFR training agency, is a current resident of Nova Scotia, and is associated with an EHS registered MFR agency can make application for his/her EHS MFR tag by completing the "Medical First Responder Registration/Re-registration Application" form or contacting the the EHS MFR Registrar at (902) 832-4685 or email@example.com.