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Work on National EMS Education Standards, Other Projects, Continues

The response to COVID-19 at federal, state and local levels is in many ways unprecedented. The staff at the NHTSA Office of EMS has been almost entirely dedicated to supporting these efforts for several weeks. Other meetings and events have been canceled or postponed due to shifting priorities and social distancing efforts.

At the same time, the important work happening in the EMS community must continue. Crises like these remind us how important planning for the future of EMS is. That’s why the team leading the revision of the National EMS Education Standards is still hard at work, reviewing the feedback from the recent public comment period and preparing the next draft. Stay tuned for updates and more opportunities to provide input later this year.

Also ongoing is the systematic review of the scientific evidence related to prehospital airway management, a partnership between the NHTSA Office of EMS and the Evidence-based Practice Center at the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). The team recently held a request for information and published the research protocol, which includes the review’s scope, key questions and inclusion and exclusion criteria. The results of the systematic review will support the development of evidence-based recommendations and guidelines for prehospital airway management.

NHTSA has also awarded the American College of Surgeons (ACS) a contract to oversee and update of the Field Trauma Triage Guidelines. These evidence-based guidelines help EMS systems ensure the right patients get to the right trauma center after motor vehicle crashes and other traumatic incidents. The ACS first developed its Field Triage Decision Scheme in 1986 and has periodically updated it over the past three decades, often with support from NHTSA. The upcoming revision will include a review of the most recent scientific evidence to make any necessary changes.