Emergency Medicine

Department of Emergency Medicine COVID-19 Response

Dr. Ellison
Dr. Stefanie Ellison (ED Faculty) handing out masks to community.

TMC is following recommendations given by the CDC. Each provider has access to appropriate PPE while working in the emergency department. We are fortunate to have exemplary hospital leadership, including several who are emergency physicians. Our former Chair, in his role as Truman Medical Center’s Associate Chief Medical Officer, serves as the leader of the incident command center responsible for managing the hospital’s COVID-19 response. Dr. O’Rourke, our Associate Program Director is also the ED operations director and has been a key liaison between our residents and hospital leadership. Our department has hosted regular ED town halls with our Chair, hospital, and department leadership addressing our response to COVID-19. Our residents have the ability to submit anonymous questions and recommendations in advance. Our hospital sends daily email announcements regarding our COVID-19 response that are helpful and relevant.

COVID airway simulation
Drs. Subramanian and Krempels during a COVID airway simulation.

TMC has also been a community leader during this time. We are keenly aware that the patient population we serve has been disproportionately affected by COVID. To that end, TMC/UHP has sponsored multiple community testing sites, initiated a drive-up testing site, and our physicians have participated in multiple community events, including educational panels and mask distribution.

Due to the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic there was an increasing need to practice skills related to managing COVID-19 patients, especially airway management. Additionally, hospital-based respiratory therapists, nurses, and faculty needed experience practicing with unique management approaches.  Our department led the development of a curriculum that was piloted and reviewed by emergency medicine, anesthesia, and respiratory therapy. EM residents and faculty were able to get hands-on simulation airway practice to gain key skills in managing COVID-19 patients requiring intubation. We also created a variety of related educational videos demonstrating application of the approaches in our hospital environment using our equipment (intubation, PPE, etc). Since June we have returned to in person simulation training at our simulation center and have included COVID-19 patient management as part of our curriculum and will continue to