MedStar announced March 17 that in a continuing effort to help prevent the spread of COVID19, as well as other viruses it is changing its normal policy that allows non-patient passengers to ride in the ambulance with a patient.
Historically, MedStar has allowed family members and friends to accompany in the ambulance with a patient to the hospital.
MedStar has instructed its field staff to discourage non-medical personnel to ride in the ambulance with patients the field providers feel may have a contagious illness.
This will help limit exposure of non-patients to contagions in a confined space (such as our ambulances), and also preserve the limited supply of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) (that may have been previously provided to non-patient passengers in the ambulance) for our EMS personnel, the organization said.
“Please understand we are doing this out of an abundance of caution during the COVID-19 outbreak. Once the current crisis has passed, we plan to resume our normal procedures of allowing family and friends to ride in the ambulance with the patient,” said Matt Zavadsky, MedStar’s .Chief Strategic Integration Officer.