The National Association of EMS Educators (NAEMSE) has issued guidance to all its members advocating carbon monoxide (CO) screenings for patients presenting with any of the signs and symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning or suspected exposure.
Recognizing that CO poisoning—the most common form of poisoning in the United States—is notoriously difficult to detect, NAEMSE said improved screening and implementation of proper carbon monoxide EMS training programs “can no doubt lead to improved outcomes for patients and potentially save many lives.”
“We see first hand the overwhelming and immediate need for carbon monoxide screening during the first response stage and the importance of standardized carbon monoxide training protocols for EMS professionals as a matter of public safety,” said NAEMSE President Angel Burba.
NAEMSE will soon have a new online training program available to all its members, free of charge, on their website www.naemse.org. The program—consisting of four carbon monoxide modules developed by Bryan Bledsoe, MD, and approved by top EMS physicians and professionals—covers the physiological dangers of CO poisoning, its signs and symptoms, as well as noninvasive methods for on-scene detection of CO in the blood. The modules include downloadable student workbooks, instructor manuals and PowerPoint slides for classroom presentation. Bledsoe is an emergency physician, highly regarded as one of the premier educators in the EMS field, and the leading author of numerous EMS textbooks.