Posts tagged with "first responders"

superhero illustration by Maria Soloman for 360 Magazine

The LINQ Promenade Celebrates First Responders

HIGH ROLLER OBSERVATION WHEEL, I LOVE SUGAR AT THE LINQ PROMENADE CELEBRATE FIRST RESPONDERS ON NATIONAL SUPERHERO DAY, APRIL 28 

To celebrate first responders on National Superhero Day, Wednesday, April 28, the High Roller Observation Wheel and I LOVE SUGAR at The LINQ Promenade will offer specials for first responders.

First responders and medical professionals can enjoy $5 off rides aboard the High Roller, the world’s tallest observation wheel, offering spectacular views of the Las Vegas Strip and beyond. Guests can reserve tickets in advance, while supplies last, using the online booking code “HRWFR5” for rides on April 28 only. Also, all locals always receive a 50 percent discount on tickets purchased at the box office.

Meanwhile, I LOVE SUGAR will feature its complimentary “Sugar Hero Box” with a minimum $25 purchase. I LOVE SUGAR is the 14,000-square-foot candy destination on The LINQ Promenade at the heart of the Las Vegas Strip. The candy wonderland carries all things sweet, including candy sushi, gummy candy pizza, giant candy boxes and its signature Candy Martini Bar. I LOVE SUGAR’s Sugar Hero Box, a $12.99 value, contains assorted candies such as jawbreakers, cinnamon hearts, rock candy crystals, sour worms and gummy bears. To receive their Sugar Hero Box, first responders must show a valid ID. For more information about I LOVE Sugar, visit their website.

PUBLIC HEALTH NOTICE:
The LINQ Promenade has implemented Caesars Entertainment, Inc.’s (“Caesars”) new health and safety protocols, which enhance its existing plans and practices in these areas. All Caesars properties are focused on the well-being of Team Members, guests and the community, and continue to work to create an environment with high standards of sanitization and physical distancing practices. Among the enhanced health and safety protocols include more frequent cleaning and sanitization. Caesars has also implemented a health screening program for all Team Members. Team Members and guests are required to wear masks, which the Company makes available, at all Caesars properties.

ABOUT THE LINQ PROMENADE
The LINQ Promenade is the world-renowned, award-winning open-air district featuring more than 30 unique entertainment, retail and dining. Home to High Roller, the world’s tallest observation wheel, and Fly LINQ, the only zipline in the world to offer riders the ability to fly simultaneously on 10 side-by-side lines. With the addition of the only zipline on the Strip, The LINQ Promenade is now the center for world-class attractions. High Roller quickly emerged as an instantly recognizable part of the already-iconic Las Vegas skyline and consistently ranks as one of the best, “must see” attractions by media outlets and websites around the world, ranging from Travel + Leisure to USA Today and Trip Advisor. For more information, go to The Linq’s website or the Caesars Entertainment Las Vegas media room Find The Linq on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

 

Land Rover Defender Illustration Shot by Kaelen Felix for 360 Magazine

2021 Land Rover Defender

Craftsmanship with Capability

By Emily Bunn x Vaughn Lowery

Reimagined after 70 years of innovation and improvement, the newest model of Land Rover’s Defender 110 honors the company’s history of creating safe and reliable vehicles, with a new-found attention to detail and design for the 21st century.

At CES 2021, Chief Design Officer of Land Rover, Gerry McGovern, spoke about the Defender 110 and said,

“The new Defender is respectful of its past but is not harnessed by it …. This is a new Defender for a New Age. Its unique personality is accentuated by its distinctive silhouette and optimum proportions, which make it both highly desirable and seriously capable – a visually compelling 4×4 that wears its design and engineering integrity with uncompromised commitment.”

Whether you’re off-roading, looking to pick up some necessary lockdown supplies, or traveling to see friends and family, the Defender promises to get you to your destination safely. Here at 360 Magazine, we recently took the luxurious yet rambunctious 2021 Land Rover Defender for a test drive, and were impressed by the car’s capabilities and curb appeal. We took the vehicle out for a spin to retrieve must needed supplies from various retailers including Home Depot, PetSmart, and Michael’s Art Supplies, shoot emerging recording artist LaJUNE, and pop in on my son and mother after they recovered from COVID-19 for some much needed fun. During all of these getaways, the Defender’s breaks dug deep into the asphalt at stop signs and hugged tight corners. All of the passengers felt safe and secure in the vehicle which operated with control and ease throughout all of our adventures.

Other recently released vehicles– such as the Mercedes Benz G Class, Toyota 4Runner, and Jeep Grand Cherokee– all pale in comparison to the Defender’s sleek design and driving capability, crafted with commitment to your safety and pleasure.

Design

The Defender’s doesn’t put style over substance as its incredible capabilities match its dazzling curb appeal. Immediately upon viewing the available Indus Silver, Gondwana Stone, or Pangea Green paint jobs shine with a glimmer of affluence and sophistication and compliment the vehicle’s constructivist, modular interior. A magnesium cross bar beam has been installed both for its reductive design and durability that it grants to the vehicle’s body. Beautiful alpine lights in the rear of the vehicle allow for an open-air design from floor to roof. The large panoramic sunroof in the car cabin makes the vehicle feel even more spacious by letting in even more light.

Additionally, the second row of origami seats can fold down to allow even more room inside the car cabin. With these seats folded down, the Defender 110 offers a total storage capacity of 78.8 cubic feet, or 36.2 cubic feet with the second row of seats positioned upright. Deep pockets on the back doors, baskets on the side doors, and a lockable 1.5-gallon glove box each allow for easy access to storage inside the vehicle.

Designed to maximize storage, users can lift up the floor to reveal a hidden storage bin equipped with a tool kit. In the trunk, a clip-in, textured floor design designed for rugged use covers the floor and the backs of all of the seats. This load space lets users transport the treasures and grit of your outdoor adventures, and can be hosed off or machined washed once arrived at your destination.

As you’re cruising down the road, the car’s all terrain, blackout tires will transport you on a smooth ride to any destination you can dream of, and in case of emergency, a full-size spare tire is mounted on the rear of the vehicle. The wheels come in several available sizes (in): 18 x 8.0, 18 x 8.0, 20 x 8.5, 22 x 9.0. Additionally, the rear of the vehicle possesses advanced tow assist and an ultra-strong tow hitch receiver with a maximum towing capacity of 8,201 lbs.

Technology

The new Land Rover Defender 110 offers the world’s first dual-modem, dual eSIM design, manufactured to enhance efficiency and function. Furnished with the Pivi Pro infotainment system in the vehicle’s dashboard, the system alerts drivers with Software-Over-The-Air (SOTA) updates, and lets users stream music and operate applications with CloudCar technology. CloudCar technology allows for drivers to safely and seamlessly incorporate their digital lives into their driving– drivers can dial into meetings, store calendar invites, and stream music services like Spotify, TuneIn, and Deezer with ease.

Further, a 10-inch high-resolution touchscreen allows drivers precise control over the vehicle with a digital speedometer display. Everything a driver needs to adjust is easily accessible. Other capabilities include driver assist, advanced off road, and standard off road standard packs. This model also offers Bluetooth, Android audio, and Apple CarPlay, so you can stay connected with those you hold close, no matter how far away they are.

And if you are embarking on an ambitious road trip to see your far-away family? The Defender 110 offers six standard speakers, or an optional Meridian sound system with subwoofers, so you can keep the beats bumping. Wherever you go, Smart Voice Guidance technology will optimize routing to get you to your destination most efficiently.

The Defender is equipped with AC power, so you can power accessories (such as a cooler) from remote locations. Wherever you go, the advanced technology and luxurious experience of driving of Land Rover Defender 110 stays with you.

Performance

Equipped with all-wheel drive, this off-road vehicle can handle all landscapes. The Defender’s auto-functionally Terrain Response 2 and ClearSight Ground View technologies can recognize different types of outdoors terrain and adjust the vehicle accordingly. Whether you are driving through the desert or tundra, the Defender promises the same deluxe driving experience. With a built-in hydraulics system, the Defender is able to be raised or lowered over whatever external grit you encounter, protecting the vehicle and its occupants against a single scratch. The Defender’s Response 2 technology grants intelligent off-road technology to drivers, optimizing traction in various outdoors environments.

Beneath the hood, the Defender is equipped with both dual turbocharged and supercharged Inline 6 engines, and a 48-volt hybrid system. The Defender offers a permanent magnet electric motor. With such a powerful system, the Defender can put out 396 peak horsepower at 5,500rpm, and 406 pound-feet of torque at 2,000-5,000rpm. The vehicle also boasts an 8-speed automatic transmission and dual-range gearbox. The fuel economy of the Defender is also impressive, with 1t MPG in the city, or 20 MGP on the highway. The 2021 Land Rover Defender is expedition ready wherever you wish to go, while assuring that safety and comfort come along for the ride.

Safety

Engineered without compromise, the Defender commits to the utmost safety of its users. Land Rover’s 2021 Defender comes with driver assist, which includes emergency braking, lane keep assist, traffic sign recognition, cruise control, speed limiter functions, driver condition monitors, and front and rear parking aids. The vehicle’s 3D Surround Camera system, developed with Bosch, is equipped with four wide-angle HD Cameras that provide a 190-degree field of view– a 50-degree wider field of vision when compared to traditional rear-view mirrors. This system includes a 3G bits/s video backbone and 14 ultrasonic sensors, which makes backing up into the smallest of spots effortless. Even if your trunk is full, the Defender is equipped with a digital rear-view mirror for increased visibility.

Best of all seat pretensions and front-impact, side-impact, and overhead airbags have been installed to protect passenger’s heads and torsos in case of a crash. To further ensure the safety of its occupants, the Defender protects its passengers with a security system designed to anticipate and detect unwanted vehicle intrusion.

Ergonomics x Additional Features

At a modest MSRP of $62,250, the Defender offers luxury and sophistication to anyone ready to get behind its wheel. Upon purchase, there are four optional accessories packs that allow users to specifically tailor their Defender experience: the Explorer Pack, Adventure Pack, Country Pack, or Urban Pack. The Land Rover Defender 110 drives users to experience new landscapes of life, during a time while everyone else is staying inside. Accoutered with a pop-up roof tent accessory, the Defender is ready to travel with you wherever you go, whether it be on an outdoors expedition or just a short trip to the grocery store.

The Land Rover Defender 110 model will be released for sale in the U.S. in early 2021.

PRE-ORDER NOW

LAND ROVER LAUNCHES ‘DEFENDER ABOVE & BEYOND SERVICE AWARDS’ TO HONOR U.S. ORGANIZATIONS MAKING A DIFFERENCE IN THEIR COMMUNITY

  • Reflecting the seven decades of Land Rover, U.S. non-profits will be awarded a customized Land Rover Defender to empower them to further their efforts in helping those around them
  • Through July 27, 2021, Land Rover will be accepting video nominations here for organizations making a difference
  • Organizations must be U.S.-based 501(c)(3)1non-profits whose efforts fall within the seven categories outlined in the program
  • For information and rules3on the ‘Defender Above & Beyond Service Awards,’ please visit Land Rover’s website or follow @LandRoverUSA on FacebookInstagram or Twitter

Across seven decades, Land Rover vehicles have earned a unique place in the hearts of humanitarian agencies across the world. The Defender continues this legacy and maintains its standing as a vehicle purpose-built for service. Inspired by the endless acts of service across the U.S. from extraordinary citizens this past year, Land Rover announced the launch of the ‘Defender Above & Beyond Service Awards’ to celebrate U.S.-based charitable organizations that are making a positive impact in their local community. To honor the 70-year history of the brand, Land Rover will award a specially outfitted Defender to seven organizations to help further their charitable efforts.

Organizations must be U.S.-based 501(c)(3)1 non-profits whose efforts fall within the seven categories below:

  1. Search and Rescue
  2. Coastal and Marine Conservation
  3. Animal Welfare
  4. First Responders
  5. Environmental
  6. Urban Improvement
  7. Fire Services

Entrants can nominate a non-profit charity or non-profits can nominate themselves here by filling out the entry form and submitting an up to three-minute video that shares what your charity is about, how it addresses a need in your community and how the Land Rover Defender will help to further your effort.

Starting with Search and Rescue and Coastal and Marine Conservation, Land Rover will call for entries through Wednesday, April 7, 2021 before opening submissions for the next categories. Once selected by a panel of qualified judges, finalists’ videos will be posted on their website for public voting before submissions for the next categories take place. All winners will be announced on September 2, 2021. To view submission deadlines for each category, please visit their website. 

“Defender vehicles have been used for various humanitarian causes around the world for decades and with its recent return to the U.S., we wanted to expand on that legacy with ‘The Defender Above & Beyond Service Awards’ and celebrate organizations that know the value of community and drive to do great things with them,” said Joe Eberhardt, President & CEO, Jaguar Land Rover North America. “Over this past year, we have been inspired by the endless acts of service from people who embody the Above and Beyond spirit of Land Rover, and we’re excited to reward these individuals with new customized Defender vehicles so they can continue to help those around them.”

With a nod to the historic Land Rover Defender, the New Defender is the toughest and most capable Land Rover vehicle yet, combining a new body structure with all-new technologies and legendary engineering to create a Defender fit for the 21st century. The 2021 Land Rover Defender 110 is on sale now in the U.S. and is priced from $50,5002, the Defender 90 body style is also on sale now in the U.S. and priced from $46,1002. Configure your Defender on their website.

For information on the Land Rover ‘Defender Above & Beyond Service Awards’, please visit Land Rover’s website or follow them on FacebookInstagram or Twitter.

  1. Organizations must be a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization in one of the seven (7) Categories specified, be approved by the Internal Revenue Service as a tax-exempt, charitable organization as of March 9, 2021, and maintain its tax-exempt status (i.e., good standing) until the end of the Contest Period.  The 501(c)(3) must be a public charity or a private operating foundation, but not a private foundation.
  2. All prices shown are Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price. Excludes $1,350 destination and delivery, tax, title, license, and retailer fees, all due at signing, and optional equipment. Retailer price, terms and vehicle availability may vary. See your local authorized Land Rover Retailer for details.
  3. Information, submission deadlines, rules on the ‘Defender Above & Beyond Service Awards,’ can be found here.

Defender Above & Beyond Service Awards_Search & Rescue Defender Rendering (1)for Land Rover shoy by Havas Formula for use by 360 Magazine



 

 

 

Rita Azar illustrates a candy article for 360 MAGAZINE

Sugarfina Care Packages

Going back to school this year is different from every other year. Instead of loading up on pencils, notebooks, markers and erasers, students are logging into computers every morning to attend virtual versions of their classes. Teachers are also preparing in a way they’ve never had to. Online lesson plans and zero face-to-face contact are making it more difficult for teachers to engage with students.

Sugarfina, a luxury candy store specializing in candy for grown-ups, recognizes that struggle. Accordingly, they have put together care packages for anyone in need of a little bit of sweetness during this time.

The care package includes Sugarfina specialties like Peach Bellini gummies, Birthday Cake Caramels, Rainbow Bears, Pink Sparkle Pops, Cold Brew Bears, Peanut Butter Milkshake malt balls, Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Caramels and Ice Cream Cone gummies.

Sugarfina is also giving away one of these care packages every day from August 17 to August 31. They’re encouraging Instagram users to nominate someone deserving of a special treat by posting a video with #TreatItForward.

Scott LaPorta, the CEO of Sugarfina, said Sugarfina was inspired by people sending each other candy during the quarantine period.

“Whether you’re treating a classmate, hard-working teacher, first responder, or fellow homeschool parent, this set is the perfect gift to put a smile on their face,” LaPorta said.

Sugarfina will also take entries into the “Thinking of You Sweepstakes” between August 20 and August 31. Anyone looking to share a $2,500 care package with a loved one can enter right here.

The standard care packages are $24 by themselves or $28 with a hand-written note and are available online or in Sugarfina boutiques.

Doctor, Coronavirus, Health, Vaughn Lowery, 360 Magazine,

Klaus Jakelski on Doctors and the Unimaginable

By Klaus Jakelski

Frank Lambert’s soul had hemorrhaged dry long before he volunteered for his present deployment. He just didn’t know it yet.

The battle-hardened surgeon had seen action in Rwanda, Burundi and Chechnya. Some of the bad memories he had suppressed. Others came to him only in nightmares, which he could never quite remember. His service had been one known for faultless, hard work in the operating room and afterwards, hard drinking to keep the demons out. Most recently he had substantially turned himself around — made himself better — at least that’s what he thought.

But life in the civilized world of Boston operating rooms had not been enough for him. He soon needed to feel the rush of adrenalin which propped up his self-identity.

Volunteering with an NGO that operated a forward relief station under NATO protection, he found himself in the middle of the Yugoslavian Civil war of the 90’s. He thought it was a simple mis-understood conflict in Europe — the civilized world after all — what could be horrible about that?

But as the conflict raged around Sarajevo, Frank and his nurse ally, Gwen Pakin, felt isolated from the main conflict. Until the inevitable arrived. The girls and young women who had been raped. Naturally, the two elected to do the procedures to free the girls from the captivity of unwanted pregnancy.

With each of his five daily cases, Frank became mesmerized by the splashing of the red evacuation bottle. Torn between gladness for the life he had restored and sadness for the life he had taken. Each one eating away at another part of his soul.

A cousin of mine, a battlefield trained ex US Navy anesthetist, recently volunteered to work in the ICU at Columbia Presbyterian hospital in Queens NY. Nothing in her training had prepared her for the month she spent there, looking after COVID-19 patients. Loosing an average of six patients per day is not a normal experience in anybody’s books. She told me she managed to suppress the bad parts of her experience.

Which is exactly what Frank had done all his working life. Especially in combat areas where each reparation of a torn human body whether it was by suturing, exploring a bodily cavity, amputation or some other surgical alchemy, was exactly the sort of thing that would result in a non-surgeon being recommended for a long stay in a psychiatric prison. But Frank, entrusted by regulatory authorities and accustomed to the controlled carnage of surgery as he was, had learned how to cope. At first suppressing the memories in a dark corner of his soul. And when the burden became too great, unlike my cousin, he began to self-medicate. At first with a little, but as the painful psychological provocation became too great, with more and more alcohol.

Such is the plight of many first responders, whether civilian, or in the military. If not alcohol, then another substance.

Even though nurse Pakin recognized that Frank was better than on his last deployment, she quickly saw through him, because she had issues herself. A life rocked by personal loss and service in conflict zones, no matter how altruistic, had left her with emotional scars too.

So Frank wasn’t quite able to compartmentalize his new reality. He wasn’t able to separate the liberation of a woman from her rape, from taking the life of her unborn. He knew just as well that the simple procedure would never return the woman’s soul to its rightful place after the tortuous transgression.

Frank found his trigger in the swirling red evacuation bottle on the wall of his makeshift operating room. The bottle that drew him in at the end of every case, one at a time, and separated him one more degree from his freedom, as he developed a new found affinity for a different bottle of liquor.

This type of scenario plays itself out repeatedly in our every day society. There’s no need to go to a war-torn area to meet an antagonist like the dark genocidal Kamenko Hradich, who has all the surface veneers of a gentle family man, until he reaches his breaking point. We know this all too well.

The people who deal with this type of suffering are right here. These first responders are all around us. Many of them as yet unaware of their trouble. We only need to recognize them.

As for the issue of war rape – It is so easy for us to sit in our comfortable space when bad things happen elsewhere.

Two hundred or so girls are kidnapped in Africa to the service of some African war lord. We see it on the evening news. We turn it off and say to each other, well I’m glad that is over there, as we roll over onto our pillows and go to sleep.

And still we don’t make the connection. The one that #Me Too is making. The one that is circulating in the most genteel corridors of our society, as well as our schools. The notion that a certain treatment of women is alright, as long as it never gets called out.

Really?

The systematic rape of thousands of women occurred in a civilized area of Europe, alongside the most monstrous genocide since the holocaust. What does it take for that sort of thing to boil over in another advanced society?

My guess is, as Frank followed his adrenalin rush from case to case, he didn’t have a chance.

360 Magazine

Ben Wyckoff Shore’s Debut Novel

International Red Cross Founder’s Story Shows Health Workers’ Heroism & Humanity by Ben Wyckoff Shore

Have you heard of Henri Dunant? If not, it’s okay. The happy few who can identify Henri Dunant as the founder of the Red Cross movement are usually the Trivial Pursuit aficionados. 

But in the midst of today’s crisis, Dunant‘s life is worth recalling in more depth than a general knowledge board game answer as his contribution to humanity is far from trivial. His is a story of humanity in a moment of crisis and acute trauma.  Inspired and driven by the trauma he witnessed, we come to the origin story of the Red Cross Movement.

Born in 1828 to a wealthy but pious family in Geneva, Dunant had a childhood filled with bible reading and alms giving. Even after growing up and learning the trade of the financier he managed to stay bright-eyed and naive.  As a businessman, Dunant was wanting. He had the ambition and even the charisma but lacked the miserly tendencies that turn daily dimes into great fortunes. In short, he was a dreamer. 

After setting out on his own and establishing a shaky enterprise in Algeria, it was not long before Dunant was in dire need of financial help and political intervention. As Algeria was then part of the French Protectorate, Dunant sought out an audience with the Emperor Napoleon III in order to get assistance in his business affairs. As it happened, Napoleon III and France were at war. Not to be deterred by that inconvenient fact, Dunant made his way to Northern Italy, where France (and Napoleon III) and Austria, and their respective allies, were readying to engage in the bloodiest European land battle in 50 years. This battle was to be called the Battle of Solferino.

Dunant, who was sheltered and Swiss, had never before seen the fallout from war.  The aftermath he witnessed of the 1859 Battle of Solferino was an earthshaking experience.  Warfare in the mid nineteenth century had reached a new level of killing potential as compared to the prior century with combatants trading in their muskets for repeating rifles and revolvers. Artillery had become more mobile and tactical, with industrialization providing greater availability and affordability. Battles in the mid 1800s had not yet taken on the trench style warfare of WWI focused on attrition: the Battle of Solferino featured lightning fast cavalry charges and troop movements designed to compress maximum damage in minimal time.

Among the horrors of war Dunant witnessed at the Battle of Solferino were miles and miles of thousands and thousands of young men, dead and dying, without any sort of organized aid response. The Battle of Solferino was also one of the last major battles to occur before the widespread use of antiseptic. As such, infection among the wounded was rampant, as was amputation.  Worse still, there were instances of enemy wounded being sought out and killed. These truly traumatic scenes change Henri Dunant, and as a result, the world. 

After bearing witness to this trauma Dunant did not fly from Solferino but rather, was compelled tostayon to help care for the wounded. He worked tirelessly as an administrator, setting up make-shift field hospitals, but also assisting in the bloody grunt work needed to physically give aid to the suffering soldiers. 

Bodies were buried. The wounded recovered or didn’t. Time marched on. Dunant tried to returnto his normal life but our dreamer found that he could not create distance from the trauma. The Battle of Solferino had produced a reflex in him, but his full reaction was not yet complete. He decided to document his experience in the form of a memoir. In his published work, A Memory of Solferino, he lays bare a full account of the Battle in all its gory detail. 

This memoir spread through Europe like wildfire. European leaders were appalled into action. This momentum turned into a movement when Dunant, along with a small group of like minds, founded the International Committee for the Red Cross.  Though this organization was founded to improve the conditions of the wounded on the field of battle, it has expanded and grown into one of the largest humanitarian organizationsin the world. Today the movement maintains volunteer societies in 190 countries and has alleviated the suffering of millions of people facing the effects of warfare, natural disaster, and epidemic. 

Beyond founding the Red Cross, Dunant ultimately helped coordinate the Geneva Convention and was awarded the first ever Nobel Peace Prize. 

I found Henri Dunant’s story fascinating enough to inspirethehistorical novel Terribilita. Based on much research into the era and Dunant, the story features a fictional Italian family swept up in the politics and violence of the 19thcentury Risorgimento movement. Dunant plays a small but critical role in the story by guiding the family to higher moral ground. 

His was one of many possible reactions to a crisis but can represent an important lesson in how even in the face of devastation, individuals like today’s health workers can be driven and inspired to work selflessly for the benefit of humanity.

 

About Ben Wyckoff Shore

Ben Wyckoff Shore is the author of Terribilita, an historical novel set in Italy at the time of the Italian unification movement (Risorgimento). An avid reader with a penchant for writing about very flawed, very human characters as well as stories about rebellion and self-sacrifice, Ben enjoys nature and loves all sorts of dogs but especially underdogs.

 

Alison Christensen, illustrations, pandemic, 360 MAGAZINE

New COVID-19 Stroke Guidelines

Top stroke experts have issued new guidance to ensure stroke patients receive safe, timely care while preventing the transmission of COVID-19.

The guidelines urge the use of telemedicine to speed treatment and advise EMS crews how to determine the best facility to treat the patient’s needs. The recommendations, from the American Heart Association’s Stroke Council, come amid increasing concerns that stroke patients are delaying seeking care because of fear of COVID-19. Such delays can have catastrophic consequences, including death.

“Even during the COVID-19 pandemic, patients should continue to seek immediate care for life-threatening and emergency conditions, and call 911 for any new signs or symptoms of stroke,” said UVA Health stroke expert Andrew Southerland, MD, one of the guidelines’ authors. “As the only certified Comprehensive Stroke Center in Charlottesville and Central Virginia, UVA has the necessary resources to ensure both patient safety and provide the highest level of care for stroke patients. Seeking emergency care for a stroke can help save lives and reduce the risk of long-term neurologic injury and resulting disability.”

The Importance of Speedy Stroke Care

With strokes, every minute counts, and speedy care can be the difference between life and death. It can also prevent lifelong disability. For that reason, Southerland and other telemedicine experts at UVA have worked with local EMS personnel to pioneer the use of the technology for pre-hospital care. They’ve placed tablets inside ambulances to connect first responders with UVA stroke experts, allowing stroke care to begin even before the patient arrives at the hospital. The new guidelines suggest this approach should be used widely.

The COVID-19 pandemic, however, adds an extra layer of complexity for first responders. In addition to the need for appropriate personal protective equipment, EMS crews must assess whether each patient has the coronavirus, the new guidelines note.

When possible, EMS workers should screen patients using free tools available online, the guidelines recommend. Responders should have a protocol in place in case the screening is positive or if the patient is incapacitated and can’t be screened. The receiving hospital should be notified as well.

Stroke patients with COVID-19 are more likely to require a ventilator and intensive care, so emergency crews should consider taking patients to a hospital with the capacity to provide that level of care, the guidelines note. Emergency crews also may need to consider hospital capacity based on the number of cases in their region and they may want to bypass emergency rooms to lessen exposure risk.

“During the COVID-19 pandemic,” the guidelines state, “it is more important than ever to ensure that the patient is transferred to the right hospital the first time around.”

In all of this, communication between emergency crews and the receiving hospitals is key, the guide’s authors say.

“Now more than ever, during the COVID-19 pandemic, we need to work collaboratively and support our emergency medical services providers working day and night on the front lines for our community,” Southerland said. “To achieve this, we must optimize communication and pre-hospital care for patients. Nowhere is this more important than in rural networks like surrounding areas in Central Virginia.”

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