AAEM Position Statement on Protections for EPs during COVID-19

CALAAEM News Service calaaem.news.service at gmail.com
Fri Mar 20 08:51:50 PDT 2020


March 20, 2020


AAEM Position Statement on Protections for EPs during COVID-19


 <http://www.aaem.org/> AAEM



Dear AAEM Family: 

Your Board of Directors has been listening to the concerns that you are
raising about your safety while providing care to patients who are presumed
positive for the novel coronavirus. We have also been listening to your
concerns that the need for test kits is exceeding the supply and that some
institutional mandates for testing are not congruent with what you assess is
best for your patients and your colleagues. In an emergency virtual meeting
yesterday, your Board developed policy statements on the issues that you
tell us matter most. They are presented here, and will appear on our
website, Facebook page, and Twitter feed, and will be presented to
legislators and the general public.   

The Academy's advocacy for our members and our colleagues will not stop
here. We stand with you through this pandemic and in every situation where
the wellbeing of the individual emergency physician is at stake. We will
meet weekly (or more often if necessary) to assess the need for updated
policy statements, advocacy, and legislative lobbying. PLEASE continue to
inform us of your needs and concerns. 


On behalf of your Board of Directors, thank you for all you do for AAEM,
your communities, and providing the highest level of service to patients.
Stay healthy and safe. 
David Farcy, MD FCCM FAAEM 
President, AAEM  
President-Elect, AAEM

AAEM Position Statement on Protections for Emergency Medicine Physicians
during COVID-19

Adequate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) 
AAEM supports the right of all physicians, nurses, physician assistants and
first responders providing direct care to patients potentially infected with
the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) to be provided with adequate personal
protective equipment (PPE). We applaud the acts of those on the national and
state level who have declared emergencies. We are calling on all government
bodies empowered to do so by the State of Emergency to compel commercial
entities to ensure that hospitals and emergency medical services vehicles
are adequately supplied with PPE, even if this requires the restriction of
commercial sale of PPE to consumer outlets for the access of the general


Use of Personal Protective Equipment 
AAEM supports individual hospitals and emergency departments' right and
responsibility to enact policies that delineate the minimal standards for
use of personal protective equipment (PPE). AAEM further supports the right
of the individual physician or health care professional rendering direct
care to patients potentially infected with COVID-19 to require more PPE than
is mandated by the institution's minimum standard whenever the healthcare
professional feels it is necessary for their personal protection and safety.


Scheduling Rights 
AAEM believes a physician, nurse, PA, first responder or other healthcare
professional has the right to be removed from the schedule of work requiring
direct contact with patients potentially infected with COVID-19 for issues
of personal health, such as being on immunosuppressive therapy or other
similar concerns, without the risk of termination of employment.


Availability of Testing 
The Academy believes that federal and state governments must make more
strident efforts to increase the availability of COVID-19 testing kits and
the development of rapid testing. The evidence is clear, Korea being the
prime example, that mass testing does lead to a decrease in case incidence
through self-quarantine and other responsible behaviors. Americans are good,
caring people. Multiple studies from the HIV literature demonstrate a very
significant decrease in risk taking behaviors immediately upon receiving a
positive test result. We have every reason to postulate that a positive
COVID-19 test result will cause infected individuals to respond in a manner
that will significantly decrease the infection rate, saving lives and


Decisions on Who to Test 
The Academy recognizes that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
(CDC) testing guidelines are changing almost daily. One of the reasons that
the CDC chooses to issue guidelines rather than mandates is their awareness
of the fluid nature of viral epidemics and the value of the clinical
judgement of physicians on the front lines. We are also aware that the
epidemiology of novel coronavirus continues to evolve, often in unpredicted
ways. It is therefore imperative that in each individual case, the clinical
judgement of the individual emergency physician should prevail in
determining who should be tested. 

Xsun4cjUVH_JCEPrhEXGVw~~> Read the Statement


Xsun4cjUVH_JCEPrhEXGVw~~>  from these messages. 




This would really be great. 

Brian Potts MD, MBA
Managing Editor, CAL/AAEM News Service


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