Paramedics Told Not To Transport Some Patients With Low Chance Of Survival
Paramedics in Southern California are being told to conserve oxygen and not to bring patients to the hospital who have little chance of survival, as Los Angeles County grapples with a new wave of COVID-19 patients that is expected to get worse in the coming days.
The Los Angeles County Emergency Medical Services Agency issued a directive [lacounty.gov] Monday that ambulance crews should only administer bottled oxygen to patients whose oxygen saturation levels fall below 90%.
In a separate memo [lacounty.gov] 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 [ktla.com] 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 [latimes.com] at a briefing Monday.
"The volume being seen in our hospitals still represents the cases that resulted from the Thanksgiving holiday," she said.
"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."
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‘We Are Not Abandoning Resuscitation’: LA County Healthcare Leader Speaks Out After Memo Raises Concerns
LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — 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.
But a recent memo from a healthcare leader about how to go about treating patients has some residents concerned.
Officials said there’s no need for alarm, as they are continuing to treat people who are ill with the same urgency and care they always have.
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.
“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. We knew that already and we just don’t want to impact our hospitals.”