Los Angeles, January 6 (RHC)-- Ambulances in Los Angeles have been instructed not to carry patients who have little chance of survival from COVID-19, as experts warn of a “human disaster” getting worse in the "City of Angels."
Dr. Jeffrey Smith, the chief operating officer of Cedars-Sinai Medical Center explained that the order was “very specific to patients who suffered from a cardiac arrest and are unable to be revived in the field.”
He said: “Those patients have a very low rate of survival each if they are transported to the hospital. So at this time, it is deemed to likely be futile.”
The onslaught of coronavirus pandemic was, meanwhile, devastating the community with number of cases ad fatalities on the rise. “Hospitals are declaring internal disasters and having to open church gyms to serve as hospital units,” County Supervisor Hilda Solis said. “Our health care workers are physically and mentally exhausted and sick.” Solis called the situation a “human disaster.”
The number of confirmed U.S. coronavirus cases has surpassed 21 million, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. As of Tuesday, some 7,900 people were hospitalized with COVID-19 in the county, 21% of whom were in intensive care units. More than 11,000 people have died in Los Angeles so far due to the coronavirus.
The Los Angeles County Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Agency also issued a memo last week to ambulance workers. “Effective immediately, due to the severe impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on EMS and 9-1-1 Receiving Hospitals, adult patients (18 years of age or older) in blunt traumatic and nontraumatic out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) shall not be transported [if] return of spontaneous circulation (ROSC) is not achieved in the field,” the agency said.