Friday March 25 8:00am to 9:00am
Post-Traumatic Growth: Finding Benefits Within Challenges - sponsored by Washington Health System
Daniel Sundahl

CONED: 1.0 Other

Daniel is the president and founder of the Peer Recovery and Resiliency Society, a group that supports emergency workers from around the world and aids in their post traumatic growth.

Post-traumatic growth is more than recovering; it is about reconfiguration and becoming a better person than you were before the injury occurred. My journey from battling my demons to purging my nightmares in artwork is shared through images based on calls I have attended as a paramedic and firefighter. I will share what I did and continue to do, to build resiliency, recover from my mental stresses, and experience post-traumatic growth. If I can do it, so can you. As DanSun Photo Art, my images are shared worldwide by hundreds of thousands of my peers. Learn the motivation behind my artwork and how they have been therapeutic for so many of us.

Daniel Sundahl (DanSun) is a published artist and writer and has three (3) art books produced of his works.  Articles of his work are featured in Canadian Paramedicine, Journal of Emergency Medicine (JEMS), Fire Rescue Magazine, EMS One, EMS World Magazine and The Canadian Journal of Emergency Nursing.  His art is recognized worldwide, and he travels internationally speaking on his art and personal experiences with occupational stress injuries and post-traumatic growth. 

Friday March 24 10:30am to 11:30am
I think I'm Going to Throw Up: Prehospital Management of the Nausea and Vomiting Patient
Dan Batsie | Vermont Department of Public Safety


"I think I'm going to throw up" is a complaint heard daily. It's so common that most providers have developed a reflex to quickly grab for the emesis bag and pray they don't have to clean up a mess. At the advanced levels, the reflex has evolved into dispensing antiemetic medications like candy at Halloween. Not all nausea and vomiting patients are routine and frequently these symptoms mask underlying, life-threatening problems. We discuss the most common etiologies of nausea and vomiting and provide assessment strategies to better identify when these symptoms indicate a potentially critical patient. We will describe best practice, prehospital treatment for nausea (both basic and advanced interventions) and review the current evidence to differentiate myth from fact. This session is appropriate for all EMS levels.  

Are You Ready to Catch This Baby?: Exploring OB and GYN Emergencies
Dr. Ricki Tripp | UPMC Prehospital Care

When you hear dispatch say "pregnant" woman over the radio, do you start to have palpitations and become diaphoretic? No worries! We will explore a comprehensive review of OB & GYN emergencies from the physiology of pregnancy, out-of-hospital delivery, special maneuvers, life-threatening emergencies for newborn and mother, and special considerations with trauma and cardiac arrests. This session is appropriate for all EMS levels.

Don't Be Trapped! Managing the Crashing Asthmatic Patient
Dr. Mohamed Hagahmed | Center for Emergency Medicine

Caring for patients in asthma exacerbation can be challenging if initial therapies do not work. My topic will cover the prehospital management of the unstable patient with severe asthma exacerbation This session is appropriate for all EMS levels.

Essentials of Tactical EMS: SWAT for the EMS Provider
Dr. Leonard Weiss | Pittsburgh Police SWAT

In this segment, we will discuss the basic need to know for tactical EMS as well as the latest evolutions. While this discussion will include important aspects for TEMS providers, in today's era, everyone in public safety must now be engaged in this critical system of care. This session is appropriate for all EMS levels.

Prehospital Burn Management
Dr. Ariel Aballay | AHN West Penn Hospital
Frank Phillips | AHN West Penn Hospital

Prehospital Burn Management can sometimes be a difficult or frightening part of our everyday EMS lives. Mainly due to burn injuries being low frequency calls for us as providers. Your confidence in managing these patients can be increased considerably with attending this course. From a review of anatomy and physiology to current treatments and an understanding of what Burn Centers can do for your patients, you can walk away from this class with a confidence of proper treatment and how to stop the burn! This session is appropriate for all EMS levels.

Friday March 24 12:30pm to 1:30pm
Building the Foundation to Discuss Race & Health Disparities in EMS
Dr. Rickquel Tripp | UPMC Prehospital Care
Dr. Sylvia Owusu-Ansah | UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh
CONED: 1.0 Other

Recent public health statistics show that patients of certain socioeconomic status (SES), gender, and race/ ethnicity are disproportionately affected with respect to morbidity and mortality for multiple disease processes, leading to health disparities and inequities. All sectors of the emergency care delivery system, including EMS, can play a role in examining and reducing health disparities through educational, operational, and quality improvement interventions. When providing care to patients, EMS personnel need to understand the definitions and circumstances surrounding health disparities, healthcare inequities, and social determinants of health. We explore aspects of systemic racism that affect health disparities in EMS and strategies to address clinician bias to provide equitable care to all patients. This session is appropriate for all EMS levels.

Neuroanatomy Part Two: Spine Time
Dr. Tyler McCardell | Allegheny General Hospital

While back pain is a common complaint, and is often innocuous, spinal cord injuries and medical pathology make up some of the highest-risk emergencies prehospital providers can face, as improper treatment can place patients at risk for lifelong disabilities.  This session will review anatomy and function of the spinal cord, including the bony vertebrae and neural pathways within.  Sample case studies will be utilized to highlight salient clinical scenarios including pathology such as traumatic cord injury, cauda equina syndrome, spinal epidural abscess, and more.  Please note that this session's content is independent from the 2022 Neuroanatomy presentation, so feel free to attend regardless of if you joined last year! This session is appropriate for all EMS levels.

Oncology Emergencies for EMS
Dr. Chadd Nesbit | Allegheny Health Network

In 2023 about 2 million people in the United States will be diagnosed with cancer and there will be about 20 million cancer survivors alive this year. Unfortunately, about 650000 people will die from a neoplastic disease this year as well. This population will continue to grow due to earlier diagnosis and improved treatment options. Patients with cancer diagnoses and those undergoing treatment may present with emergencies related to the disease or treatment. They often have additional underlying medical conditions such as coronary artery disease, pulmonary problems, diabetes, and hypertension. Some of the conditions we will review will include superior vena cava syndrome, thrombotic complications, infusion reactions, and the febrile patient on current chemotherapy. We will look at these and other emergencies in greater detail and discuss the initial management of these complex patients in the prehospital setting by ALS and BLS providers. This session is appropriate for all EMS levels.

Things Are Not Always As They Seem, Part IV
Dr. Owen Traynor | St. Clair Hospital

We will discuss 4 cases in which "things are not as they [initially] seem." The attendees will be challenged to think about the cases as they develop. This session is appropriate for all EMS levels.

Trauma A's and B's: Airway Management in Trauma
Dr. Christian Martin-Gill | UPMC Health System

Managing a trauma airway can be difficult, but not impossible We will discuss how to properly manage a traumatic airway, and the equipment available to do so. This session is appropriate for all EMS levels.

Friday March 24 1:45pm to 2:45pm
Dying With Dignity--An EMS Perspective
Dr. Vince Mosesso | University of Pittsburgh Medical Center

Patients with terminal illness or who are in hospice often present challenges for EMS clinicians to determine the most appropriate approach to management and transport. This presentation will cover legal and ethical considerations for patients with and without advanced directives who are nearing end of life. This will include review of pertinent legal documents and regulations, and discussion of real-life scenarios This session is appropriate for all EMS levels.

Geriatric Trauma: Senior Citizens Don't Follow the Rules
Dr. Ron Roth | Pittsburgh Department of Public Safety

Senior citizens, which I am about to become, don't like to follow "the rules." A simple ground level fall can cause a massive subdural hematoma and minor MVA can result in multiple rib fractures. An understanding of geriatric physiology and trauma patterns will lead to better care for this unique population. This session is appropriate for all EMS levels.

Man vs. Machine: Managing LVAD Emergencies
Dr. Mohamed Hagahmed | Center for Emergency Medicine

Patients with LVAD's can present with unique challenges in the prehospital setting. In this case based discussion, I will highlight some of the issues and common complaints that patients with LVAD call 911 for. I will also address specific management and therapeutic intervention. This session is appropriate for all EMS levels.

Should We Light 'Em Up, Up, Up?
Brian Maloney | Plum EMS

Decreasing the use of lights/sirens both in responding to and transporting patients to the hospital is a newer and sometimes controversial topic.  Plum EMS is one of 50 EMS agencies across the country that has been part of a "National EMS Quality Improvement Partnership - Reduce Lights-and-Sirens Use in EMS" focusing on reducing the emergency vehicle involved crash rate related to 911 EMS response and transport by decreasing light/sirens use. Plum EMS has achieved significant results since the start of the project.  Prior to the beginning of this endeavor, Plum EMS was using lights/sirens responding to calls close to 70% of the time.  Over the past 10 weeks Plum EMS crews are now averaging lights/sirens use while responding to calls less than 10% of the time.  During this session topics will be discussed reviewing the approach Plum EMS has taken to achieve these numbers and some of the challenges faced. This session is appropriate for all EMS levels.

Why They Stay: Building an Agency Culture that Promotes Retention
Dan Batsie | Vermont Department of Public Safety
CONED: 1.0 Other

Recruitment and retention failures are an epidemic that plagues EMS at all levels. While pay plays a large role, the factors that are most controllable by leadership are consistently related to the culture that is created within the organization. Pride, identity, ownership, and belonging are among the most important anchors for retention and yet these valuable traits are too often minimized and ignored. Retention is a leadership skill that can be crafted and improved and we discuss how to do just that. This session is appropriate for all EMS levels.

Friday March 24 3:00pm to 4:00pm
Awareness: Tactical Communications
Aaron Allen | PA State Police
CONED: 1.0 Other

We spend a good amount of time interacting with others and since we come in contact with so many people during our daily duties, it is vital we have the skills necessary to communicate effectively. From hospital staff, other first responders, patients and their families, we are sending both verbal and nonverbal messages. Effective communication is more than just being able to talk to someone. We have to be active listeners, understand what others are saying, and be able to read and interpret body language. This session is appropriate for all EMS levels.

COVID and RSV and Flu, Oh MY: Pediatric Respiratory Disease in the Prehospital Setting
Dr. Andrew Nowalk | UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh

Pediatric acute care visits and hospitalizations are driven by respiratory viruses. Both new agents (COVID) and old challenges (influenza and RSV) cause significant morbidity in children. The session will review up to date epidemiology, treatments, and tip and tricks for management of each virus which will improve care in the prehospital setting, and highlight safety and prevention measures for providers. This session is appropriate for all EMS levels.

Mastering the Art of Resuscitating the Peri-Arrest Patient
Dr. Mohamed Hagahmed | Center for Emergency Medicine

When caring for patients who are critically ill, it is easy to get distracted by the underlying injury or illness which can delay the delivery of crucial intervention to prevent worsening decompensation. My topic will go over the management of the peri-arrest, critically ill patient. This session is appropriate for all EMS levels.

Seizure Management--More than just Benzos
Dr. Sandra Lopez| Memorial Health System
Megan Lenz | Allegheny Health Network

An overview of seizure classification, differential diagnoses, examination techniques for the seizing/post-ictal patient, and management considerations. This course will use case reviews for an interactive illustration of concepts, state protocols, and lessons learned including presentations masquerading as other pathologies. This session is appropriate for all EMS levels.

The Vision of EMS in the Commonwealth for the Future
Dr. Aaron Rhone | PA Bureau of EMS
CONED: 1.0 Other

An open discussion on the EMS system in Pennsylvania and what the Bureau of EMS can do to better it.

Friday March 24 5:00pm to 6:00pm
Abdominal Pain in the Older Adult: Maybe They're Not Just Constipated!
William Miller

Acute abdominal pain is a common pre-hospital and emergency department complaint, accounting for approximately 10 - 15% of all visits to the ED.  The cause of the abdominal pain, especially in older adults, can be very difficult to identify.  Additionally, abdominal pain in the older adult is much more likely to be related to a serious - even life-threatening medical condition - than what we typically encounter with adults under age 50 or the pediatric population.  This presentation will review common medical conditions associated with abdominal pain in older adults, as well as review important points in the patient's history of present illness, and subtle findings on the physical exam that suggest more serious pathology. This session is appropriate for all EMS levels.

Can EMS Play a Role in Addressing the Social Determinants of Health?
Dr. Sylvia Owusu-Ansah | UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh br> CONED: 1.0 Other

Social Determinants of Health (SDH) are the complex circumstances in which individuals are born and live that impact their health. They include intangible factors such as political, socioeconomic, and cultural constructs, as well as place-based conditions including accessible healthcare and education systems. SDH contribute to most health inequalities. Substantial empirical evidence of the impact of social and behavioral factors that impede disease self-management and lead to or exacerbate existing comorbid conditions have accumulated over the past few decades. For example, lack of housing and social support are associated with higher mortality and poor health outcomes. EMS providers encounter patients in difficult social situations on a day-to-day basis-sometimes as the primary cause of an incident, or sometimes in the background of an incident. In fact, EMS providers are often the first to recognize a social difficulty in a person's life, but with few tools to assist in a non-emergency capacity, these vulnerable patients don't always get the kind of help they actually need, leaving providers feeling helpless. This session is appropriate for all EMS levels.

The Collaboration Between EMS and Police Social Work
Angela Kenbok | Hampton Police Department
Alex Naper | Shaler Hampton EMS
CONED: 1.0 Other

Police officers, paramedics, and firefighters are commonly known as first responders. First responders are individuals who are trained to respond to emergencies. They are the first to arrive to a scene to provide emergency assistance. Now, we can add a fourth first responder, a police social worker. With the collaboration of EMS workers and social workers, these first responders can assist communities in a multitude of aspects. Over the past two years, we (EMS and police social worker), have had the privilege of working alongside each other. Emergency responders go above and beyond to serve their communities, keeping residents safe. However, the needs of the public are sometimes greater than the services the EMS can provide. Both first responders are tasked with responding to crisis situations. With the assistance of police social workers, community members can be directed to programs and services which can potentially avoid another EMS call in the future. Medics respond with goal of providing life-sustaining treatment and transporting patients to higher levels of care unavailable in the field. What happens when the patient requires further services that don't warrant a trip to the hospital? When EMS can collaborate with social services, not only does the patient receive the ultimate care, but it also reduces the load on the hospital systems. If EMS and social services can have a near symbiotic relationship, the primary goal of providing care in the best interest of the patient can be achieved both short and long term. This session is appropriate for all EMS levels.

EMS West Regional Clinical Insights
Dr. Rick Wadas | EMS West

Clinicians from across Pennsylvania have been reviewing the current BLS, AEMT, ALS and CCT protocols and suggesting/debating changes and additions; attend this session and get an overview of the possible new protocols and the rationale behind some of the changes. EMS West's Regional Medical Director will also review some regional QA findings and provide additional clinical insights, specifically in regards to regional Ketamine administration. EMS calls that have made National and local headlines will also be discusses and reviewed. This session is appropriate for all EMS levels.

Friday March 24 6:15pm to 7:15pm
How to Argue with a Doctor and Win
Dr. Jason Kodat | UPMC Cole

As EMS advances, there are more and more relevant studies in scientific journals, but how can you know which ones really matter? This quick statistics primer will help you figure out whether a study is worth your time. This session is appropriate for all EMS levels.