MedStar and area first responders are modifying on scene personnel utilization for patients identified through the 9-1-1 call taking process as potentially high risk for a possible contagious illness, MedStar said in a news release March 20.
The change aims to enhance responder safety with growing shortage of personal protective equipment.
For non-life threatening responses, first responders and MedStar personnel will meet together at the scene of the call and confer on the number of personnel necessary to make initial contact with the patient, typically one or two responders. These responders will don the appropriate personal protective equipment to facilitate patient assessment and treatment, the news release said.
These modifications are being implemented to protect first response personnel by limiting the number of responders in close contact with the patient, especially in light of a growing countrywide shortage of vital personal protective equipment.
First responders are a crucial part of the health system’s safety net, and, like other healthcare providers, keeping them safe is paramount to assuring appropriate resources for the community.
Personal protective equipment is an essential component of assuring responder safety.
“EMS agencies and healthcare providers across the country, and here in North Texas, are reporting significant shortages of personal protective equipment for their personnel,” the MedStar announcement said.
“Across the country, over 1,000 EMS and fire personnel have been quarantined as the result of a possible exposure to COVID-19. Procedure modifications, such as these being implemented in the MedStar system, will help assure first responder safety and preserve available personal protective equipment,” the release said.
– FWBP Staff