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posted by martyb on Tuesday January 05 2021, @07:53PM   Printer-friendly
from the so-it-has-come-to-this dept.

LA Paramedics Told Not To Transport Some Patients With Low Chance Of Survival:

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."

'We Are Not Abandoning Resuscitation': LA County Healthcare Leader Speaks Out After Memo Raises Concerns:

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.


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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 05 2021, @08:58PM (2 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 05 2021, @08:58PM (#1095201)

    Wanna bet no industrial customer has to worry about shortages of oxygen? How can there even be a lack of it?

    As much as I know, blood oxygenation 90% and above has generally been considered normal, so not providing oxygen to those that don't really need it is understandable. If it is denied to people that need it though, using Covid as an excuse or even as a shakedown argument for more funding, heads need to roll.

    They did increase hospital capacity back in the first month of the two weeks to flatten the curve, remember? And eventually Trump reassigned the resources because NY crowed loudly, but wasn't really using them.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 05 2021, @09:11PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 05 2021, @09:11PM (#1095212)

    > ... no industrial customer has to worry about shortages of oxygen

    I don't know either way. What I do remember is from a welding supply shop, the oxygen sold for the old oxygen-acetylene torch welding had higher purity standards than medical grade oxygen. I never checked further, but I could see that a little N2 or Argon in the O2 probably wouldn't bother a patient, where it might upset the flame temp of the oxy-acetelene flame?

  • (Score: 2) by helel on Tuesday January 05 2021, @11:20PM

    by helel (2949) on Tuesday January 05 2021, @11:20PM (#1095328)

    As I understand it 96%-100% is considered normal. Reading the directive tho, this is more about how they are treating patients with hypoxia. Normally one would try to get them back up to 100% saturation and keep them there. Now, to save O2, they are only targeting 90%. Get there, cut the oxygen, wait for levels to fall, and reapply instead of just leaving them breathing through a mask until stabilized, I assume.