"Editors' Expressions" is a recurring feature in which the EMS World editorial staff ruminates on current news, noteworthy events and everyday happenings with relevance to healthcare and EMS delivery. Feel free to react in the comment box below or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
The end of the year is always an insightful—and fun—time to take a look back to find out what our readers cared about most in the prior year. We analyzed the over 4 million pageviews to the EMS World website in 2020 and found these articles (and one video) the most popular that we published this year.
(Note: Results were filtered so that articles published prior to 2020 were not included in this list. Also not included are articles from EMS World Americas, our Spanish language edition.)
The top 10 articles are presented here in reverse order, with #1 being the most popular new article of the year.
10. George Floyd Autopsy, EMS PCR Suggest Death by Asphyxiation
Published June 1, 2020
Attorneys representing George Floyd’s family released findings of their own autopsy that said the man was asphyxiated while fired officer Derek Chauvin had his knee pinning Floyd’s neck. The results directly challenged preliminary results from the examination by the Hennepin County medical examiner’s office that he was not strangled, but died from other factors, including being restrained.
9. Minn. Paramedics Worked George Floyd for One Hour Before Death
Published May 28, 2020
By the time George Floyd was en route to the hospital, he was unresponsive and without a pulse. But for nearly an hour, first responders and ER staff refused to give up on the 46-year-old St. Louis Park man in their care. “He still had an outside chance,” said Hennepin Healthcare EMS Chief Marty Scheerer. “Even if it’s a super long shot, you’ve got to try your best.”
8. Pharmacology 101: The Pros and Cons of Ketamine
Published Feb. 8, 2020
While ketamine’s inclusion in prehospital formularies seems to have increased over the years, it does not appear to have yet reached universal acceptance, even with recent calls for its use, writes our pharmacy columnist Daniel Hu. Recent high-profile ketamine administration cases have kept it top-of-mind with our readers.
7. For Many COVID-19 Patients, Odd Symptoms Persist
Published Sept. 30, 2020
As medical experts and scientists grapple to understand the new virus, some patients are reporting a great variety of symptoms that fall outside the official lists issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other major health authorities. Often these conditions seem to appear or subside without warning, sometimes lingering for months after the virus is supposedly gone.
6. MCHD on Revised Protocol for Albuterol Administration During COVID-19 Pandemic
Published March 18, 2020
In this video, Dr. Rob Dickson and Dr. Casey Patrick of Montgomery County Health District in Texas discuss an alternative method of delivering albuterol to prevent aerosolization during the COVID-19 pandemic, and discuss a bulletin issued by MCHD to its crews regarding anti-bacterial/viral filters for ventilation circuits.
5. Hilton to Provide 1M Rooms to First Responders, Healthcare Workers
Published April 8, 2020
Hilton announced in April that it would provide about 1 million hotel room nights nationwide to healthcare workers during the coronavirus pandemic. The hotel chain and American Express will fund the donations of the rooms, which will be free for doctors, nurses, EMTs, paramedics and other medical staff.
4. Five Questions With: Ford Albritton, MD, on COVID's Loss of Smell and Taste
Published July 13, 2020
Ford D. Albritton IV, MD, a specialist in otolaryngology/ear, nose, throat medicine, is researching instances where COVID-19 patients present with anosmia (loss of the sense of smell) and dysguesia (loss of the sense of taste)—and nothing else. These strange facts can be of great diagnostic usefulness to EMTs and other emergency medical professionals as they struggle with coronavirus patients.
3. JAMA: Three-Quarters of Adults With COVID-19 Have Heart Damage
Published July 30, 2020
Seventy-eight percent of people diagnosed with COVID-19 showed evidence of heart damage caused by the disease weeks after they have recovered, according to a study published by JAMA Cardiology. Of 100 participants in the study, 78 had evidence of heart damage on magnetic resonance imaging, according to the researchers.
2. It’s Time for the CARES Act Round 2 Stimulus Payments—Could You Be Left Out?
Published April 30, 2020
The portal opened for healthcare providers in early 2020 to apply for additional CARES Act funding, available from a pot of $20 billion in Round 2. How much are you entitled to? Christopher Kelly and Dan Pedersen are lawyers with Page, Wolfberg & Wirth LLC and explain how to get what’s coming to you.
As the routines so many of us base our lives around have been altered by the COVID pandemic, among the victims has been many providers’ personal fitness. This article by Brian Potter, volunteer EMT with Buckhannon Fire Department in Buckhannon, WV, offers tips for continuing a regimen of physical activity and fitness while dealing with the pandemic.
When we compile this list at the end of next year, what will the top stories be? There’s simply no way to tell. But we at EMS World—and I’m sure our readers too—hope it will be nowhere near as unexpected as this year’s was.
Happy New Year.
Jonathan Bassett, MA, NREMT, is editorial director at EMS World. Reach him at email@example.com