Coronavirus, Industry News

ESO Data Show Unsustainable Use of N95 Respirators for EMS

FILE – In this Thursday, March 12, 2020 file photo, a worker wearing a mask and protective clothing walks between the emergency structures that were set up to ease procedures at the Brescia hospital in northern Italy. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)

ESO, a data and software company serving emergency medical services (EMS), fire departments and hospitals, has been monitoring its dataset in relation to Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) – specifically N95 respirators – in use by EMS providers and responders during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Related: Complete COVID-19 Coverage from JEMS

The current use shows ESO customers are using N95 respirators at the rate of more than 9,000 a day on approximately 25,000 daily 911 calls, putting customers on pace to use more than one million N95 respirators in the next three months.

“The current trend of using N95 respirators indicates an unsustainable trajectory,” said Dr. Brent Myers, Chief Medical Officer for ESO. “We encourage organizations to follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines in relation to the use of surgical masks versus N95 respirators unless performing invasive, aerosol- generating procedures or participating in other high-risk situations. We anticipate an increase in the number of cases over the coming days and weeks, and we want to ensure the health and safety of our front-line providers and responders by recommending a course of action that will preserve N95 respirators for situations most likely to require use of this equipment. Just as is common with other conditions encountered by Fire and EMS, the level of PPE should be proportional to the risk associated with the particular situation.”  

“We will continue to analyze these data daily and monitor trends associated with the use of PPE to do our small part to help our customers and the industry hopefully stay ahead of the curve,” added Dr. Myers. “At this time, we feel it is necessary to share as much data and information as we can to identify trends that will help EMS and fire departments manage the outbreak in their communities.”