from the so-it-has-come-to-this dept.
The Los Angeles County Emergency Medical Services Agency issued a directive Monday that ambulance crews should only administer bottled oxygen to patients whose oxygen saturation levels fall below 90%.
In a separate memo from the county's EMS Agency, paramedic crews have been told not to transfer patients who experience cardiac arrest unless spontaneous circulation can be restored on the scene.
Both measures announced Monday, which were issued by the agency's medical director, Dr. Marianne Gausche-Hill, were taken in an attempt to get ahead of an expected surge to come following the winter holidays.
Many hospitals in the region "have reached a point of crisis and are having to make very tough decisions about patient care," Dr. Christina Ghaly, the LA County director of health services said at a briefing Monday.
[...] "We do not believe that we are yet seeing the cases that stemmed from the Christmas holiday," Ghaly added. "This, sadly, and the cases from the recent New Year's holiday, is still before us, and hospitals across the region are doing everything they can to prepare."
Los Angeles County hospitals are so inundated, officials said they're just trying to provide the best care they can for the people who need it.
The memo sent out on December 28 by the medical director of L.A. County's Emergency Medical Services agency, Dr. Marianne Gausche-Hill, addressed how first responders should treat stroke and heart attack patients, saying a patient should be treated at the scene first and have a pulse during resuscitation before transporting them to the hospital.
[...] The medical director of L.A. County's Emergency Services Agency, Dr. Marianne Gausche-Hill, assured CBS2 that officials continue to do all they can to save patients' lives at the scene and the hospital, as they always have.
"We are not abandoning resuscitation," Gausche-Hill said. "We are absolutely doing best practice resuscitation and that is do it in the field, do it right away... What we're asking is that — which is slightly different than before — is that we are emphasizing the fact that transporting these patients arrested leads to very poor outcomes.