NPR — 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 Monday that ambulance crews should administer supplemental oxygen only 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.
“The volume being seen in our hospitals still represents the cases that resulted from the Thanksgiving holiday,” she said.
PHOTO CREDIT: SoulRider.222Shop Artsy Gifts for Kids – All Under $25