1. #1
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    Default Responding to potential SARS

    Hey Toronto area FF & EMS. What have they been telling you about responding to a potential SARS case ?

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    Hey GPM you can find a thread already ongoing on this subject here:

    http://pub39.ezboard.com/fcanadianfi...picID=30.topic

    Hope this helps you

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    Default

    Check out www.torontofirefighters.org for more info.

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    BCAS has sent out a little information for us as FRs, but most of it is just common sense, IE, get good information from the PT as to their activities, travels, encounters, etc. As well, it recommends using N95 approved face masks and, as always, limit contact with bodily fluids (like I said, good common sense).

    Last week, a mutial aid department of ours was called to a shortness of breath at the Ba'Hi (not sure of the spelling) International School. When enroute, BCAS told them that they found out from the caller that she (17 years old) has just gotten back from Korea a few days ago.

    I am not sure what they did while on scene (they get the same notices we do), or what ever came of the situation, but I am keeping my ears open and will pass along any information I get.
    "No one ever called the Fire Department for doing something smart..."

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    South Korea reported its first case of SARS this week, which is not to say someone returning from Korea could not be infected last week.

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    Hey all, well I do believe it comes down to good common sense too. I think the paramedic in and around the GTA are on over kill. We ran a call in a school today with an 18 y.o. female hyperventlating. This was confirmed to be due to an arguement. I wasn't wearing my mask but the paramedics were. I'm sure that really helped her attack. Last week we dealt with a 1 week old baby with diff. breathing. Paramedics masks and gowns. Mom was already freaking because it is her first baby, then she needed to see the team from "Outbreak" show up. Use common sense. Pt. coughing use a mask. Use gloves for every call and remember to wash your hands after every call!

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    It all comes down to policy Louie. You can bet that most of the medics would rather not have had to wear it all, but when your management and the Ministry of Health says so, you do it. Kind of like your policy for wearing full SCBA into all smoke environments.

    Besides, who wants to spend 10 days in quarantine?

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    Hey LadyCapn,
    Yes, it does come down to policy and it does cover us, therefore follow it always. Sometimes the policy makers loose site of what is important or they don't stop to think about the situation fully. If the patient is coughing and has diff. breathing then wear all universal precautions for SARS. Because is you want to get into the reality then we should treat every patient as having communicable disease and wear gloves, eye shields, and gowns on every call. All I am saying is use discretion.

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    Question SARS

    If you have a potential SARS case, I would bring some surgical masks with you, and wear as much protective wear as you can to limit the exposure!
    Firefighters are beneficial to every community with the wealth of information they have!

    They don't get enough praise, for the information and skills they know! It could save your life one day!!!!!

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    Just be aware, the general use surgical masks only block 40%-60% of the airborne particles. You must invest in some good N95 particulate masks, and ensure they fit tightly to be properly protected.
    Never argue with an Idiot. They drag you down to their level, and then beat you with experience!

    IACOJ

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    Exclamation Surgical Masks!

    Yeah, you're right... I didn't know the model of mask!
    Firefighters are beneficial to every community with the wealth of information they have!

    They don't get enough praise, for the information and skills they know! It could save your life one day!!!!!

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    Angry SARS!!! The life of an EMT vs. SARS...

    Paramedic's life changed
    Frightening bout with SARS gave new perspective

    Man caught the bug while caring for early patient


    LESLIE FERENC
    YORK REGION BUREAU CHIEF

    Greg Bruce can't recall much about the days he spent in intensive
    care struggling to survive the unrelenting fever burning up his body.

    But the Toronto paramedic does remember thinking about his family and
    whether they were safe from the deadly virus that had him fighting
    for his life.

    "My biggest fear was that one or all of my family members would be
    sick with SARS," the 37-year-old said in an interview last week. He
    prayed that his wife and children be spared.

    Bruce was among the first front-line health-care workers to contract
    severe acute respiratory syndrome. At his worst, he felt he was at
    death's door.

    "I wish this had never happened, but I'm thankful I didn't infect
    anyone else, especially my family, " he said, referring to Rachel,
    now 3 months; Joshua, 9; Rebekah, 12; and wife Marirose.

    Bruce's living nightmare began March 16, when he and his partner from
    Station 24 on Birchmount Rd. transported a critically ill patient to
    Scarborough Grace hospital. Neither wore masks at first, but alarm
    bells went off when they heard that the patient had been in hospital
    earlier, next to a man who'd died from a mysterious unnamed
    pneumonia-like condition.

    The paramedics had read a staff memo listing possible symptoms and
    recommendations. Both then donned masks and put one on the patient.
    Bruce later reported his concerns about exposure.

    "But there were no answers, and certainly no talk of quarantine at
    that time," he said.

    Within 48 hours, he had muscle and joint pain, plus a fever. When it
    jumped to 38C, Bruce drove to Scarborough Grace.

    He was sent home with "the flu" after tests came up negative. But as
    he left, Bruce grabbed some face masks and decided to go into
    isolation at home. He was convinced he'd contracted something nasty.

    Over the next days, the fever soared. Bruce made two more trips to
    the hospital, but tests showed no serious problems.

    On March 23 new chest x-rays showed signs of classic pneumonia. By
    then he was coughing and had difficulty breathing. Later that day he
    was rushed to Mount Sinai Hospital.

    "I was so sick by this time that I couldn't take care of myself," he
    said. He doesn't remember much about the first five days in the
    intensive care unit, where he slipped in and out of sleep as his body
    tried to fight off the virus. He spent 11 days in ICU.

    But he'll never forget the fear that gripped his heart after hearing
    that patients, including the man he'd rushed to Scarborough Grace,
    had died.

    "I was scared, absolutely," he said. He didn't know whether he would
    be the next, "and I was so worried about my family."

    Bruce's fever raged for 10 days, peaking at 40C, dangerously close to
    brain-damage levels.

    By April 3, he was moved to the 17th-floor SARS unit a sign that,
    finally, he was getting better. But the isolation from family was
    taking its toll.

    As he got stronger, Bruce spent days contemplating life.

    "I also thought about how little is known about SARS, about how much
    damage has been done to my body, about whether I will be reinfected,"
    he said.

    Bruce dreamed of walking through his front door and into his family's
    arms. His prayers for them had already been answered; they'd spent 10
    days in quarantine without getting sick.

    His dream came true April 10, when he was released. But he had to
    stay in isolation at home seven days more, and to be safe avoided any
    physical contact.

    When the time was up, Bruce rushed to hold his baby. Last week, he
    carried her to her baptism. "I was determined that I'd be there and
    hold her," he said.

    Bruce still has a long way to go. He lost 30 pounds, and some days
    it's all he can do to shave and brush his teeth. A flight of stairs
    can leave him winded.

    He remains optimistic, but admits the ordeal has changed his
    perspective on life, work, "and what's really important."

    Concerns about the future continue to haunt him.

    "No one can say if there's been permanent lung damage," he said. He
    doesn't know when or how he'll return to work. "There are no answers
    right now."

    I got this article from a list that I am part of.
    Firefighters are beneficial to every community with the wealth of information they have!

    They don't get enough praise, for the information and skills they know! It could save your life one day!!!!!

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    Default SARS

    You have to remember, EMS showing up in gowns and mask are also protecting the patient from a potential exposure that they may have had with the LAST patient.

    If the paramedic was infected that day, the day before, etc, they are protecting the future patients until they find out that they were exposed (which could be days or weeks).

    Kevin

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