Albany Medical Center Hospital’s division of EMS brings together the educational resources of the Albany Medical College & Department of Emergency Medicine and the clinical resources of AMCH. This partnership helps public safety organizations in unique ways, providing up-to-date clinical and management education, and expanded-scope pre-hospital medical protocols.
Specialists within the program act as liaisons between local hospitals and EMS providers for:
Albany Medical Center operates the region’s premier Level I adult trauma center, a designation that enables AMC to treat patients with the most serious injuries. A close relationship with Children’s Hospital at Albany Medical Center, which operates the region’s only Level I pediatric trauma center, means that both adults and children can get the most skilled trauma care in the region without being routed to separate locations.
Albany Medical Center has offered Trauma Conference on the 1st & 3rd Wednesday mornings of the month (08:00 am in MS 169) with an eye toward helping emergency medicine professionals improve their preparedness and practice.
Medical Command for the Albany Medical Center Hospital Division of EMS is provided by physicians from the Department of Emergency Medicine. In Albany, Emergency Medicine residents provide medical direction for ALS calls within the six county REMO region. Emergency Medicine faculty members from the Department of Emergency Medicine also provide on line supervision and backup via radio/phone. Emergency Medicine attendings/residents respond to specific EMS calls 24 hours per day. These EMS physician responds to all calls that might require complicated airway management, cardiac arrests, major fires, entrapment, MCIs. Paramedics may also request the physician for other calls as well.
NYS Department of Health Bureau of EMS - Basic Life Support Protocols
Regional (REMO) ALS Protocols
Public Access Defibrillation (PAD) Albany Medical Center Department of Emergency Medicine (Division of EMS), has early on promoted the use of portable defibrillator technology. It serves as the Medical Director for several local organizations, businesses, recreational facilities and other workplaces.
According to the American Heart Association (AHA), a specific heart condition called sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) claims the lives of an estimated 250,000 Americans each year. Unlike a heart attack, which is caused by a blockage in an artery, SCA is an electrical malfunction of the heart typically associated with an abnormal heart rhythm known as ventricular fibrillation (VF). Defibrillation, delivery of an electrical current to the heart, provides the only effective treatment for ventricular fibrillation; however, defibrillation is most effective if received in the first few minutes after SCA occurs. For every minute that goes by without defibrillation, the chance of survival decreases by 7-10 percent. After 10 minutes, survival is very unlikely. While many ambulances carry defibrillators, it takes an average of nine minutes for them to reach a cardiac arrest victim. As a result, fewer than five percent of victims survive. Due to this small window of time, defibrillators in the workplace are essential because building security, high-rises, large campuses, heavy urban traffic and other hindrances often make it impossible for emergency medical services to arrive in time to successfully treat an SCA victim.
If you or your organization are interested in obtaining more information regarding on Public Access Defibrillation, you can call 518-262-3773.
NYS Department of Health – Notice of Intent to Provide Public Access Defibrillation
REMO Region – Collaborative Agreement to Provide Public Access Defibrillation
Firefighter Cardiovascular Disease
AlbanyMedical Center’s Department of Emergency Medicine is teaming with researchers
from Skidmore College to study cardiovascular health in firefighters by combining a group of studies that were previously unavailable. Blood tests including cholesterol and indicators of vascular inflammation, tension of arterial walls and the results of a calcium scoring cardiac CT scan (CSCCTS) will be correlated in order to better define cardiac risk. The CSCCTS is a relatively new, non invasive and highly accurate diagnostic test for evidence of coronary artery disease, a known precursor to myocardial infarction and death from heart disease. This study is not routinely used for firefighter screening because it is very expensive and new. Use of this technology may help distinguish between firefighters at risk of developing coronary artery disease in the future and those with established disease and therefore at greater risk of acute cardiac events and LODD. The study will recruit career firefighters from the Albany Fire Department already enrolled in a CSCCTS screening program to participate in additional data collection to better define cardiac risk factors. Firefighters at greatest risk will be addressed directly by Capital Cardiology Associates (CCA). If the study appears to be a success, we will expand the pool to include firefighters from other departments. The study is being supported by donations from the Department of Emergency Medicine, Local 2007 of the Permanent Professional Firefighters Association, and CCA.
Source Patient Testing
As you know, unlike many other states, in New York, we can not test the blood of a source patient in a case of occupational needlestick or potential infectious exposure if the source can not participate in the consent process. If the source patient is unconscious or deceased, the exposed worker, our public safety or health care colleague, may never
know the HIV status of their exposure.
We have a real opportunity to change this. The NYS Commissioner of Health, Dr. Richard Daines, MD, has asked the state legislature to pass legislation before it adjourns later this month (2008) that makes many changes to HIV testing laws. We are very excited to report that there is a provision in this bill that is very similar to what we have been advocating, and it allows for anonymous HIV testing of source patients who are comatose, deceased, or who otherwise do not have the capacity to consent. The physician treating an exposed public safety or health care worker could learn if there has been an HIV exposure and can treat the occupational exposure appropriately.