Nova Scotia | Medal of Bravery nomination deadline approaching

NS | 20120412

There is still time to nominate friends, family members, neighbours or colleagues who have acted courageously to protect the life or property of others for a Medal of Bravery.

The nomination deadline for the medal that recognizes Nova Scotians who put themselves at risk for others is May 1.

Nomination forms are available at Access Nova Scotia Centres, offices of members at the legislative assembly and at www.gov.ns.ca/bravery .

An advisory panel, chaired by retired vice-admiral Duncan Miller, will select the recipients.

Other committee members are:
— the CEO of the Emergency Management Office
— the deputy minister of Justice
— the Nova Scotia fire marshall
— the president of the Nova Scotia Chiefs of Police Association
— the commander of Land Force Atlantic Area
— Ann MacLean, former mayor, Town of New Glasgow
— Paul Pettipas, CEO Nova Scotia Home Builders Association

For more information, contact Nadia Gardin at 902-424-5941, e-mail medalofbravery@gov.ns.ca or visit www.gov.ns.ca/bravery .

Completed nomination forms should be sent to Provincial Secretary, Medal of Bravery, Department of Justice, 4th floor, 5151 Terminal Rd., Halifax, N.S., B3J 2L6.

Nova Scotia | New collaborative emergency centre launches in Springhill

Springhill | 20120412

People in Springhill now have shorter waits for emergency and primary care. Premier Darrell Dexter officially opened the province’s second collaborative emergency centre at All Saints Hospital today, April 10.

“The grand opening of the province’s second collaborative emergency centre is a key part of government’s commitment to ensure Nova Scotians and their families receive better health care, sooner,” said Premier Dexter. “By bringing emergency departments and local family practices together to work as a team, we are fulfilling that commitment in a way that makes sense.”

Collaborative emergency centres keep emergency rooms open, reduce patient wait times and provide a team-based approach that offers continuity of care. This ensures patients can get the appropriate treatment before a minor health issue turns into a health crisis.

“The highly trained doctors, nurse practitioners, nurses, paramedics and other health-care professionals at this collaborative emergency centre are doing an exceptional job, and I want to thank them for their admirable work and support,” said Premier Dexter. “These committed health-care professionals are working diligently to ensure that this facility will continue to be a trusted, integral part of the community.”

The services at the collaborative emergency centre in Springhill include:
— access to primary health care by a team of professionals, including doctors and nurse practitioners, between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m., seven days a week
— same-day or next-day access to medical appointments
— 24/7 access to emergency care

During the day, doctors and nurse practitioners are available at the collaborative emergency centre to treat patients. Between 8 p.m. and 8 a.m., a team, including a primary care paramedic and two registered nurses, staffs the centre to ensure patients get the care they need. An EHS oversight physician provides assistance by phone.

“Based on our experience with the first CEC, we are confident this new model will meet the health care needs of this community, as has been the case in Parrsboro,” said Bruce Quigley, CEO of the Cumberland Health Authority. “As we ultimately make the transition to overnight care being provided by two registered nurses in collaboration with the online oversight physician, it will be an opportunity to introduce yet another model of emergency care that builds on the training and expertise of our highly skilled nurses.”

The province will announce at least four more collaborative emergency centres this year.

For more information on the province’s Better Care Sooner plan, visit www.gov.ns.ca/health/bettercaresooner.

Ireland | National Ambulance Service recognized as Centre of Excellence by Intl Academies of Emergency Dispatch

Tullamore | 20120412

HSE National Ambulance Service North Leinster Tullamore Control Centre has again been recognised as one of the best emergency control centres in the world for the way it handles the growing number of 112/999 calls.

The Tullamore Control Centre is one of only a few emergency control facilities in Europe to be accredited as a Centre of Excellence twice over the past four years by the International Academies of Emergency Dispatch (IAED). The Re-Accredited status runs from 2012 to 2015.

The International Academies of Emergency Dispatch (IAED) is based in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA. It was established in 1988 as a standard-setting organisation in the field of emergency medical dispatch and has grown into a world leader for establishing standards and protocols for safe handling and dispatch for all emergency services.

The accolade acknowledges the effective way the service deals with 112/999 calls coming into its North Leinster Tullamore Control Centre, Co Offaly.

Accreditation as a Centre of Excellence by the IAED is based on a stringent assessment of the services procedures and performance around handling 112/999 calls. This includes listening to and reviewing three per cent of all emergency calls selected at random, to ensure call-handlers are properly identifying the clinical nature of the emergency and providing the right advice to the caller, while an ambulance response is en route.

Beverley Logan, IAED Accreditation Officer said: “This latest re-accreditation is testament to the hard work of everyone involved with answering 112/999 calls. Clearly that includes the team of dedicated call-handlers who are the first point of contact for anyone phoning 112/999 with an emergency often in very stressful situations.

“But there are also many other people who play a vital role in terms of on-going training and ensuring all the services processes are working properly – all with the objective of providing rapid, effective help for patients.”

The latest accreditation certificate was presented to HSE NAS, Midland Division on Thursday, 29th March 2012 at the North Leinster Area Ambulance Control Centre in Tullamore, Co Offaly and will also be recognised at the IAED’s annual  UK Navigator Conference  being held at the Thistle Grand Hotel in Bristol, September 2012.

China | Oriental magpie robin tests positive for H5N1 virus in Hong Kong

Hong Kong | 20120412

A spokesman for the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD) said today (April 10) that the carcass of an Oriental magpie robin found in Hung Hom last week was confirmed to be H5N1-positive after a series of laboratory tests.

The dead bird was found and collected near 19 Station Lane, Hung Hom, on April 4. The Oriental magpie robin is a common resident bird in Hong Kong.

The AFCD will continue to conduct inspections of poultry farms to ensure that proper precautions against avian influenza have been implemented.

The spokesman reminded people to observe good personal hygiene.

“They should avoid personal contact with wild birds or live poultry and clean their hands thoroughly after coming into contact with them,” he said.

China | Fatal case with Group A Streptococcus infection under investigation

Hong Kong | 20120412

The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health is investigating a fatal case with Group A Streptococcus infection involving a 21-year-old pregnant woman.

The woman, with good past health, attended the Accident and Emergency Department (AED) of Kwong Wah Hospital for fever and right breast swelling on March 25. She was treated as having upper respiratory tract infection and mastitis. The woman was discharged the same day.

In the morning of April 4, she developed cyanosis and dyspnoea. She attended the AED of Queen Elizabeth Hospital and was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit on the same day.

She was also noted as having skin mottling and shock. Her clinical condition deteriorated rapidly and she passed away on the same day.

Her blood culture grew Streptococcus pyogenes (Group A). The diagnosis was septicaemia. She did not have recent travel history. Her close contacts were asymptomatic.

The CHP’s investigation is continuing.