Los Angeles County Ambulance Crews Told to Avoid Transporting Covid-19 Patients With Low Survival Chances



The Los Angeles County is reeling under a huge surge of Covid-19 infections. Health officials said that the number of new cases have doubled. There were nearly 400,000 cases on November 30. The figures were more dismal with above 800,000 cases on January 2, 2021.


Hospitals in the county are bursting under the deluge. The Intensive Care Unit (ICU) capacity across the county is zero as 21% of the over 7,600 patients hospitalized are in the ICU. The situation is so bad in hospitals that church gyms have been converted to hospital units.


The Los Angeles County Emergency Medical Services (EMS) have asked ambulance crews to avoid transporting patients who have slim chances of survival. They have also been asked to conserve oxygen. Earlier on, even patients who had low chances of recovery, were taken to hospitals in ambulances.


Patients who cannot be resuscitated after their hearts have stopped “shall not be transported if return of spontaneous circulation (ROSC) is not achieved in the field,” according to a memo given to ambulance crew. The memo also said that supplemental oxygen should only be given to patients whose oxygen saturation is below 90 %.


Barbara Ferrer, Los Angeles County Director of Public Health said that a patient is dying of Covid-19, every fifteen minutes. She added that they expect to face worse conditions, in January, as a result of the holiday week and New Year parties.

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