Through the assistance of an American College of Emergency Physicians’ grant, the Florida College of Emergency Physicians created the Plug It Project as an initiative to create awareness in Florida surrounding the waterborne, free-living, freshwater amoeba Naegleria Fowleri and the resulting infection called Primary Amebic Meningoencephalitis (PAM).
The goals of the Plug It Project include assisting in providing standard, current and correct information/guidance/awareness regarding Naegleria Fowleri; spreading awareness of the risk and the preventative steps to the public and medical/health professionals; advocating for rapid diagnosis and treatment of Naegleria Fowleri and PAM; and assisting in communications at local and state levels through partnerships with other organizations for amoeba awareness.
The Plug It Project will result in many benefits to emergency medicine in Florida – the most substantial being an increase in awareness and knowledge of Naegleria Fowleri and PAM which will result in a lower frequency of infection, as well as, methods for early diagnosis that create new care pathways for best practices and treatment of potential and confirmed PAM cases.
PAM is 100 percent preventable, yet 99 percent fatal.
Primary Amebic Meningoencephalitis (PAM): Red Flags and Lifesaving Critical Care Tips for the Emergency Medicine Professional Webinar
Naegleria fowleri, the “brain-eating ameba”, is a free-living microscopic ameba commonly found in freshwater and soil. It causes a rare, almost always fatal brain infection known as primary amebic meningoencephalitis (PAM). During this 60-minute presentation, we will review the pre-hospital red-flags and clinical guidelines for the diagnosis of PAM. This will be followed by a review of the clinical care pathways and rapid laboratory diagnostic testing criteria for emergency care patients with suspected PAM.
Kevin Sherin, MD, MPH, FACPM
Clinical Professor Family Medicine
FSU College of Medicine and UCF College of Medicine
Dr. Sherin is the Orange County Health Officer that has worked in Public Health in four local Florida cases of primary amebic meningoencephalitis. He helped to develop prevention and public health guidelines for PAM for the AMA in 2016. He is board certified in Preventive medicine and Family Medicine.
For more full details and CE information about the playback webinar, CLICK HERE!
Primary Amebic Meningoencephalitis Informational Poster
In addition to the available webinar the Florida College of Emergency Physicians and the Emergency Medicine Learning & Resource Center has created an informational poster on PAM that can be distributed to all EM and EMS professionals as a reference tool about the causes, symptoms, prevention and treatment of the disease.
CLICK HERE or the image below to download the PAM educational poster!