SEM promotes creation of cross-border directory of medical equipment and specialized master’s degree in health crisis management

Both initiatives are being promoted within the framework of the EGALURG network and will be announced in all regions involved during the third quarter of 2021.

The entities that form the EGALURG European cross-border cooperation network are making progress in their efforts to improve medical care in emergency and disaster situations in the Pyrenees region, despite the heavy workload caused by COVID-19. The Medical Emergency System (SEM) will manage actions 4 and 5 of the project, which focus on the creation and testing of joint cross-border protocols and the development of a university master’s degree to promote specialized training in emergency and disaster healthcare management.

One of the main pillars of the EGALURG network is to promote cooperation between regions to ensure that borders do not represent an obstacle when it comes to providing medical care and that medical devices can be mobilized to support other cross-border territories. One of the current tasks of the SEM team involved in EGALURG is to collect and categorize information on each region’s health units. This will allow joint action protocols to be developed. All out-of-hospital medical resources in the regions involved will be transferred to a map, which will be created together with the other member entities. 

Antoni Encinas, head of the SEM, provides a direct example of the advantages of using common protocols to make information and resources available to all members: “For example, if a health disaster were to occur in Puigcerdà, we know that several SEM ambulances would be able to reach the location to assist those in need within 20 minutes, but we don’t know what resources they would have on the other side of the border that could help us treat the victims.”

To achieve this, simply knowing what resources are available to the regions is not enough; it is also important to overcome administrative and legal barriers and to promote joint work to ensure that medical devices are effectively deployed in crisis situations.

Cross-border training

At the same time, SEM professionals are combining their healthcare work with participation in the project through the creation of a cross-border master’s degree in health crisis management, which will be offered as of the 2022-23 academic year. This degree program has an innovative edge over other university studies, since it has been designed as a theoretical and practical master’s degree, divided into four modules based on specific crisis scenarios that will increase in complexity as the program progresses.

It should be noted that this program, which is based on the acquisition of skills, has also been designed to attract professionals in positions that require large-scale decision-making, such as company managers or directors and senior civil servants who carry out essential work during potential health disasters. “This master’s degree is not aimed exclusively at health personnel. Students won’t learn how to intubate patients or stop bleeding. The idea is to provide them with the tools and knowledge they need to take the most effective action in a range of crisis situations and to offer the best possible medical assistance,” explained SEM professional Dr. Jorge Morales. Likewise, the program will be offered in two formats: complete training or modular training. The latter will allow students to take modules separately, depending on their interests.

The cross-border master’s degree will be taught by both the Universitat de Barcelona and Université Paul Sabatier in Toulouse and will be offered in two formats: complete training or modular training, depending on the specific interests of the students.  The full degree will last two years and will be divided into four academic semesters. The teaching staff will be made up of specialist professionals in the field of crisis management.  The complete program for the master’s degree will be published in the first semester of 2022.

Four entities involved

The EGALURG consortium is made up of four entities: University Hospital Center of Toulouse (Toulouse), Navarrabiomed Biomedical Research Center (Pamplona – Iruña), Hospital Center of the Basque Coast (Bayonne) and the SEM, a public body that operates throughout Catalonia to assist during prehospital emergencies. This latter entity is headquartered in Hospitalet de Llobregat (Barcelona) and has two additional offices in Reus and Barcelona.

The project is co-funded (65%) by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) through the Interreg V-A Spain-France-Andorra Program (POCTEFA 2014- 2020). The goal of the POCTEFA program is to strengthen the economic and social integration of the Spain-France-Andorra cross-border area. It focuses its help on the development of cross-border economic, social and environmental projects through joint strategies in favor of sustainable regional development.

Mobile emergency unit returns to Toulouse after visiting Navarre to support COVID-19 vaccination campaign

In the coming months, it will travel to hard-to-reach areas in the Haute-Garonne region to administer coronavirus vaccines before moving on to Andorra.

The Europe Occitania Multipurpose Mobile Unit (UMPEO) is returning to the University Hospital Center of Toulouse (CHUT) after spending six weeks traveling around Navarre to support the COVID-19 vaccination campaign. This cooperation project has taken place within the framework of the EGALURG European cross-border network, which made it possible to create this innovative facility.

Handover of the UMPEO took place yesterday (February 25) at the Hospital Center of the Basque Coast. Staff from Toulouse Emergency Medical Services, part of the CHUT, and a team from the Navarre Health Service and Navarrabiomed traveled to the partner organization in Bayonne, where they shared their impressions of the visit to Navarre and their use of the unit. During the meeting, where all of the current health protocols were observed, all of the professionals expressed their satisfaction and gratitude for this cooperation between regions.

Upon the unit’s return to the Occitania region, the CHUT will initially use it for the same purpose, i.e. to administer COVID-19 vaccines. The knowledge acquired by the professionals in Navarre during their time with the UMPEO will help the CHUT improve the mobile unit’s systems and optimize its use. The UMPEO is expected to move to Andorra in mid-April.

Tomás Belzunegui, Scientific Director of the EGALURG Project at Navarrabiomed, praised the way the unit had been used in Navarre and the cooperation that made it possible. He also expressed his gratitude on social media:

“It’s been a real pleasure to share our experiences with our colleagues from Emergency Medical Services in Bayonne and Toulouse. Eskerrik asko denengandik

More than 750 inoculations

The healthcare teams in Navarre, made up of nurses, medical emergency technicians from the Navarre Health Service (SNS-O), volunteer firefighters, and volunteers from the Red Cross and the DYA emergency assistance association, inoculated more than 750 people using the UMPEO, according to data from Aitor Erice, a medical emergency technician at the SNS-O, who was responsible for managing the unit.

In January and February, the UMPEO traveled to different municipalities within the region to administer vaccines outside of healthcare centers and to facilitate access for dependent people and others living in rural areas. The aim was to help prevent overcrowding and reduce the risk of infection.

The teams were also assisted by volunteers from Navarre-based healthcare organizations, who helped transport elderly and disabled people to the UMPEO. In total, the unit visited four different areas (Oronoz-Mugaire, Estella, Sangüesa and Peralta) on two separate occasions to administer both doses of the Pfizer vaccine. The operation also required painstaking organization and logistics to administer the vaccines within the set periods. “We can’t waste a single dose, so we have to plan everything very carefully. If there’s any vaccine left over, which very rarely happens, we have a Plan B and even a Plan C for administering it,” Erice asserted.

In order to be able to use the UMPEO, a team from Navarre traveled to the CHUT to learn how to deploy and handle it:

The project is co-funded (65%) by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) through the Interreg Program V-A Spain-France-Andorra (POCTEFA 2014-2020). The goal of the POCTEFA program is to strengthen the economic and social integration of the Spain-France-Andorra cross-border area. Its help is focused on developing cross-border economic, social and environmental projects through joint strategies in favor of sustainable regional development.

EGALURG facilitates the construction and deployment of the UMPEO, an innovative installation for emergency healthcare in trans-pyrenaic regions

The Europe Occitania Multipurpose Mobile Unit (UMPEO) is an installation developed by the University Hospital Center of Toulouse (CHUT) and founded thanks to the EGALURG project within the framework of the Innovation, Research, and Technological Development action. This infrastructure offers multiple options for emergencies, as intensive healthcare boxes or vaccination cabins against COVID-19. Cegelec Défense built this mobile unit.

EGALURG is a European cooperation network to improve healthcare in isolated communities, emergencies, and disasters on both sides of the Pyrenees. The partners are CHUT, Navarrabiomed (Navarre), the Emergency Medical Services of Catalonia, and the Hospital Center of the Basque Coast in Bayonne (Nouvelle-Aquitaine).

The project is co-funded (65%) by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) through the Interreg Program V-A Spain-France-Andorra (POCTEFA 2014-2020). The goal of the POCTEFA program is to strengthen the economic and social integration of the Spain-France-Andorra cross-border area. Its help is focused on developing cross-border economic, social and environmental projects through joint strategies in favor of sustainable regional development.

A mobile hospital providing emergency services will travel to several locations in Navarre in coming weeks to support COVID-19 vaccination procedures

Professionals from the Emergencies Section of the Navarre Health Service, along with volunteer firefighters and workers from the University Hospital Center of Toulouse and Navarrabiomed participated today in the installation of the mobile emergency unit at the Refena Conference Center within the framework of the European EGALURG network.

The Europe Occitania Multipurpose Mobile Unit (UMPEO), built by the University Hospital Center of Toulouse (CHUT) within the framework of the EGALURG European cross-border cooperation network to improve emergency and disaster healthcare in the Pyrenees, was installed today at midday in the Refena Conference Center parking lot in Pamplona / Iruña.

As part of the strategy for vaccination, Navarre has welcomed the emergency healthcare unit with the aim of administering the COVID-19 vaccine. Primary care management professionals from the SNS-O and Navarrabiomed will coordinate the movements of the emergency unit as it travels to different towns in Navarre in January and February.

The unit will provide support for vaccination of dependent people, social health personnel, home care services and primary care professionals working in rural basic health zones. Specifically, the mobile unit will travel from Refena to different towns, including Altsasu / Alsasua-Etxarri, Irurtzun, Oronoz-Mugaire, Sangüesa / Zangoza, Carcastillo, Peralta / Azkoyen, Lodosa, Los Arcos, Estella / Lizarra. In each town, the mobile unit will act as a key vaccination center so that this procedure does not have to be given at healthcare centers, thus keeping them from becoming overcrowded. This is expected to reduce the risk of infection and speed up the vaccination process.

At the event, Diego Reyero Díez, Head of the Emergencies and Primary Care Transport Section, said that the emergency unit will provide optimal conditions for COVID-19 vaccination. He said, “The mobile emergency unit has separate areas for greater comfort and flexibility for vaccination.”

Kiko Betelu Corcuera, Assistant Director of Emergency Services and Technical Director of Vital Urgency Care in Navarre, pointed out that the mobile unit can also be used to raise awareness about vaccination and the importance of so-called herd immunity. “The increase in the vaccinated population will mark a turning point in the pandemic, so the faster that happens, the better,” said Betelu.

Innovative infrastructure in Europe

To make use of the UMPEO emergency unit, a team of professionals from the Emergencies Section of the Navarre Health Service and Navarrabiomed spent Monday and Tuesday (January 11-12) in Toulouse receiving technical training on installation deployment and handling from the CHUT, the EGALURG Project leader and also the institution responsible for building the mobile unit.

As explained by Anna Ribera Cano, an emergency services doctor from Toulouse Emergency Medical Services, another member of the EGALURG Project, “This mobile unit is unique in Europe because it can be deployed so quickly. It can be operative in 20 to 45 minutes.

 As a hospital care support facility, it can handle as many as 18 patients at a time”.

The facility is designed to admit patients in intensive care beds, eight absolute emergency beds and 10 relative emergency beds, in five fully equipped subunits. It takes up a maximum area of 66 m2 and is 12 meters long. Though the mobile unit was originally designed to be used in the cross-border area at major events and mass gatherings, and to provide response services in emergencies and disasters, its construction deadlines were tightened and its design was adapted in light of the current pandemic.

Also participating in the event was Tomás Belzunegui Otano, the Scientific Director of the EGALURG Project, who said, “Though the current pandemic has made implementing the EGALURG Project more difficult, the institutions involved have continued working together on all planned actions. Being able to bring the mobile hospital to Navarre highlights the direct advantages of cross-border regional cooperation.”

The mobile unit has also been used in remote regions of Haute-Garonne to perform massive PCR testing and was deployed in Bayonne, France, to provide support for emergency services at the Hospital Center of the Basque Coast (CHCB), which was overwhelmed by the pandemic. After being installed in Navarre, plans include enabling the UMPEO to be used in coming months by the Emergency Medical Services of Catalonia (SEM) and the Aragon Health Service.

EGALURG cooperation network

The EGALURG consortium is headed by the CHUT, and its partners include Navarrabiomed, the CHCB and the SEM. The European network started operating in 2019 and will have a total duration of 30 months.

Its goals include harmonizing protocols for more effective use of healthcare resources. Developing innovative tools is one of the key parts of the project and is reflected in the mobile hospital, as well as a platform that will simulate emergency situations and help train healthcare personnel so they are prepared for these cases. Navarrabiomed is in charge of this platform.

The project is co-funded (65%) by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) through the Interreg Program V-A Spain-France-Andorra (POCTEFA 2014-2020). The goal of the POCTEFA program is to strengthen the economic and social integration of the Spain-France-Andorra cross-border area. Its help is focused on developing cross-border economic, social and environmental projects through joint strategies in favor of sustainable regional development.

EGALURG uses innovative infrastructure and new training proposals to improve emergency healthcare in the Pyrenees

The third partnership meeting featured reports on these developments, including the mobile hospital used in the fight against COVID-19

The EGALURG cross-border cooperation network, which promotes improvements in emergency and disaster healthcare on both sides of the Pyrenees, held its third partnership meeting as a videoconference on December 10, 2020. During the meeting, a report was given by each partner on its progress: the University Hospital Center of Toulouse (CHUT), Navarrabiomed, the Hospital Center of the Basque Coast (CHCB) and the Emergency Medical Services of Catalonia (SEM).

The outcomes obtained thus far include the mobile hospital created by the CHUT for use in the fight against COVID-19. The hospital traveled to remote regions of Haute-Garonne to perform massive PCR testing in September and October. It is currently in Bayonne to provide support with emergencies at the CHCB, which has been overwhelmed by the pandemic. The hospital will travel to other partner regions in the coming months.

In January, the mobile hospital will be moved to Navarre to provide support during the coronavirus vaccination campaign to be launched by the Government of Navarre in early 2021. The CHUT will then send the hospital to Catalonia. Infrastructure of this kind is the result of the project’s technological research, development and innovation, which are focused on designing and developing tools that provide an improved response in emergency and disaster situations.

At the same time, the CHCB and Navarrabiomed have been working on creating an interactive map of all the healthcare resources in the regions on both sides of the Pyrenees. These partners are also analyzing the implementation of healthcare services by organizers of major events. The CHCB performed an exhaustive analysis of mass events held in Europe and created a survey, which was sent to the parties responsible for these events. When the responses have been analyzed, a proposal will be drawn up of common procedures and international guidelines.

Cross-border training

One of the project’s goals is to create a master’s degree program to promote specialized training for professionals in emergency and disaster situations. This activity is being coordinated by the SEM. The content of this two-year, hybrid, cross-border, interuniversity master’s program will be targeted not only at healthcare professionals, but also at other agents involved in these events, such as communication and logistics personnel. The program will consist of four modules on the specific kinds of crisis situations students will have to deal with. With the master’s thesis project, the master’s degree program has a total of 65 credits and will be taught starting in the 2021-2022 academic year.

Navarrabiomed reported on its design of an emergency simulation platform that can be used in teaching activities for master’s programs and other training courses at universities in partner regions. Despite the COVID-19 situation, the partner organizations are finding their way through the difficulties caused by the pandemic and putting all their efforts into making progress on the project, though many of the participants have to perform a juggling act to combine this activity with their healthcare responsibilities at emergency services seriously affected by coronavirus. However, the partners are optimistic and plan to meet in person at the next partnership meeting, to be held in Barcelona in June 2021, coronavirus permitting.

The total EGALURG budget comes to €2,343,192, of which €1,523,075 (65%) was co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) through Interreg Program V-A Spain-France-Andorra (POCTEFA 2014-2020). The goal of the POCTEFA program is to strengthen the economic and social integration of the Spain-France-Andorra cross-border area. Its help is focused on developing cross-border economic, social and environmental projects through joint strategies in favor of sustainable regional development.

Updated measures against COVID-19 in the Euroregion

The updated infographic of measures against the COVID-19 of the Euroregion contains comparative data from the three regions on issues such as labour mobility, hotel and catering opening regime, education and school situation, trade, use of public transport and other socio-sanitary considerations.

The measures of Navarre entered into force on 26 November, and those of Nouvelle-Aquitaine on 28.

Vía https://www.euroregion-naen.eu/es/

Mobile hospital built as part of EGALURG project installed in Bayonne to strengthen emergency services affected by Covid-19

The infrastructure, unique in Europe, is characterized by its rapid deployment 45 minutes) and ability to treat 18 patients

The University Hospital Center of Toulouse (CHUT) has granted use of the mobile hospital built as part of EGALURG European cooperation project to the Hospital Center of Basque Coast (CHCB) to strenghen the emergency service overwhelmed by COVID-19. Team members of CHUT Emergency Medical Services provided help during the installation.

The field hospital is pioneering in Europe for its rapid deployment. It can be fully operative in 45 minutes minutes. It takes up a maximum area of 66 m2, and is 12 meters long. It consists of five completely equipped modules, with a total capacity of18 patients, plus healthcare professionals. The hospital is also prepared to withstand adverse weather conditions. It was originally designed to be used in the cross-border area for major events and mass gatherings, and in response to emergencies and disasters.

The infrastructure is completely self-sufficient. It has all the equipment and materials required to provide suitable health care in crisis situations: 12 mobile medical care stations, 16 electric syringe pumps, 8 stethoscopes, 2 suction devices, 8 ventilators, 20 cylinders, 18 stretchers, and one ultrasound device. With all this equipment, the mobile hospital can accommodate 8 patients in situations of the utmost urgency and 10 in situations of relative urgency.

For three weeks in September, the hospital traveled to remote regions of Haute Garonne to perform massive PCR testing and carry out through contact tracing of sources of contagion. This period was also used to adjust and improve some technical aspects of deployment. On November 9, the hospital was assigned to relieve the impact of coronavirus on emergency services at the Hospital Center of the Basque Coast in Bayonne, a partner in the EGALURG project. Plans for coming months include moving the field hospital to the regions of the other partners in the EGALURG project: Navarre and Catalonia.

Equal access to the emergency healthcare

The European network focuses on promoting equal access to emergency and disaster healthcare on both sides of the Pyrenees. The mobile hospital created by the CHUT forms part of Action 6 of the project‘s work plan, which is focused on the design and development of innovative tools for taking effective action when and where necessary, and providing better solutions for people on both sides of the French-Spanish border.

The total EGALURG budget comes to €2,343,192, of which €1,523,075 (65%) was co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) through Interreg Program V-A Spain-France-Andorra (POCTEFA 2014-2020). The goal of the POCTEFA program is to strengthen the economic and social integration of the Spain-France-Andorra cross-border area. Its help is focused on developing cross-border economic, social and environmental projects through joint strategies in favor of sustainable regional development.

EGALURG joins fight against COVID-19 by performing massive PCR testing in Haute-Garonne area

The “COVID Tour” took place thanks to the mobile field hospital built by the Toulouse University Hospital in collaboration with the prefecture of Haute-Garonne.

The mobile field hospital, built by the Toulouse University Hospital (CHUT) within the framework of the EGALURG Project, was moved in September to different isolated areas of Haute-Garonne to perform massive PCR testing on the inhabitants in an attempt to carry out massive contact tracing of COVID-19 and prevent its spread. The initiative, referred to as the “COVID Tour”, was jointly implemented by the CHUT and the prefecture of Haute-Garonne.

The European network focuses on promoting equal access to emergency and disaster healthcare on both sides of the Pyrenees. The mobile infrastructure created by the CHUT forms part of Action 6 of the project work plan, which is focused on the design and development of innovative tools for taking effective action in the required situations and offering citizens better solutions. The mobile hospital was also used for training healthcare professionals.

The total budget to carry out EGALURG comes to €2,343,192, of which €1,523,075 (65%) have been co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) through Interreg Program V-A Spain-France-Andorra (POCTEFA 2014-2020). The goal of the POCTEFA program is to strengthen the economic and social integration of the Spain-France-Andorra cross-border area. Its help is focused on developing cross-border economic, social and environmental projects through joint strategies in favor of sustainable regional development.

Navarre participates in European network to improve emergency and catastrophic health care in the Pyrenees

After working exclusively on COVID-19 disease control in recent months, the professionals at the SNS-O went back to work on the EGALURG Project with an online meeting organized by Navarrabiomed.

On 3 June 2020, Navarre organized the first videoconference meeting of the cross-border cooperation network EGALURG, whose aim is to guarantee access to health care in emergency and catastrophic situations in the regions on both sides of the Pyrenees in France, Andorra and Spain and on equal terms.

The professionals at the Navarre Health System-Osasunbidea (SNS-O) will work in coordination with experts from the regions of Occitanie, Nouvelle-Aquitaine and Catalonia. The Navarrabiomed research center, a member of the EGALURG network, facilitated the connection between these professionals.

The EGALURG network is led by Toulouse University Hospital and its partners include Bayonne Hospital and Emergency Medical Services of Catalonia, in addition to Navarrabiomed. The network is being developed within the framework of European Interreg Program V-A Spain-France-Andorra (POCTEFA 2014-2020). It officially started its activity in November 2019 and has a duration of 30 months. To date, two partner meetings have been organized: the first, on 19 December in Toulouse, and the second, the one held yesterday as a videoconference in compliance with the national de-escalation plan.

The EGALURG consortium will work on improving health care throughout the Pyrenees to prevent the border from becoming a legal and administrative hurdle, and to promote interregional cooperation in health care. The initiative also focuses on the coverage provided to geographically isolated towns and people in emergency and catastrophic situations.

To achieve such an improvement in health care, EGALURG will work in the coming months on harmonizing protocols for patient care in order to anticipate and manage the medical equipment required. It will also develop innovative tools for increasing efficiency in health care by preventing different systems and languages from becoming an obstacle. Records will be kept in each region and a common IT platform for assessment and research will be set up based on epidemiological data.

EGALURG in Navarre

The Navarre work group will develop and implement a database on characteristics of severe injuries and an operating inventory of common cross-border resources. It will also coordinate the network’s communication activities by developing different activities and coordinating all the agents in the regions involved.

Given the current situation caused by COVID-19 disease, EGALURG has postponed a number of face-to-face events and training sessions, which will prepare for and guarantee excellent collaboration between professionals. The team trusts that by next year it will be possible to organize simulation events and stays. “Simulation is key because it enables health care personnel to train in locations with a context like the ones found in emergency and catastrophic situations. We hope to be able to reschedule the activities planned and, by 2021, hold meetings to share protocols and good practices”, said Arantxa Ibarrola Segura, the manager of the project in Navarre.

The total budget to carry out EGALURG comes to €2,343,192, of which €1,523,075 (65%) have been co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) through Interreg Program V-A Spain-France-Andorra (POCTEFA 2014-2020). The goal of the POCTEFA program is to strengthen the economic and social integration of the Spain-France-Andorra cross-border area. Its help is focused on developing cross-border economic, social and environmental projects through joint strategies in favor of sustainable regional development.

European EGALURG network agrees on actions to promote equal access to emergency healthcare on both sides of the Pyrenees

The first official meeting was attended by representatives of the partner organizations in the cross-border project.

The aim of the EGALURG Project is to improve emergency and disaster healthcare on both sides of the Pyrenees. The project was created based on collaboration between the Toulouse University Hospital (CHUT), Navarrabiomed, Emergency Medical Services of Catalonia, and the Hospital Center of the Basque Coast in Bayonne. The meeting was held in Toulouse on Thursday, 19 December 2019, to mark the official kick-off of the project, lay down the project’s fundamental principles and establish the actions to be implemented by each partner.

The meeting was held at the old hospital, Hôtel-Dieu Saint-Jacques, with the attendance of each partner organization’s representatives, all of whom have broad experience in implementing European network projects. Through research and the implementation of innovative infrastructure, the aim is to promote equal access to healthcare in isolated population groups, emergencies and disasters. To this end, at this first meeting, the representatives from the different regions established the criteria required for combining protocols and training healthcare professionals.

Also established at the meeting were the principles of how the project would work and be coordinated by the CHUT, the project leader. It was agreed that two meetings of the partners would be held each year. The next meeting will be held in Navarre in June 2020. The partners are thus able to start working on their respective actions, such as creating maps for setting up joint triage and screening systems, with an inventory of emergency units in the cross-border area, organizing continuous training for healthcare professionals, combining databases on polytrauma from different healthcare centers with the aim of implementing effective action protocols, and building innovative facilities for training and improving emergency and disaster healthcare.

The total budget to carry out EGALURG comes to €2,343,192, of which €1,523,075 (65%) have been co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) through Interreg Program V-A Spain-France-Andorra (POCTEFA 2014-2020). The goal of the POCTEFA program is to strengthen the economic and social integration of the Spain-France-Andorra cross-border area. Its help is focused on developing cross-border economic, social and environmental projects through joint strategies in favor of sustainable regional development.