A look at EMT guidelines used to decide if 911 callers need to go to hospital

EMTs are following detailed guidelines that mean not everyone who contracts the coronavirus ends up going to the hospital.

News 12 Staff

Apr 9, 2020, 7:12 PM

Updated 1,567 days ago

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EMTs are following detailed guidelines that mean not everyone who contracts the coronavirus ends up going to the hospital.
As EMS and first responders are flooded with 911 calls, the reality is that not everyone who calls needs to go to the hospital. Now, the state Department of Health has issued guidelines for emergency workers to help them decide when someone should go to the hospital.
A flow chart details the steps, including to "perform an assessment" -- like is the person over 65? Do they have a temperature? What is their oxygen level?
"We start asking questions, get a little bit of detailed history, some patients we are looking for in someone with cardiac history, respirator history, diabetes, pregnant," says Kris Kalendar, head of the union representing Nassau's police medics. "Ultimately trying to filter out, is this something that needs to go to the hospital at this time or not, and due to the flow chart and more advisory that they've released, if we see they don't fit the criteria to transport, we can leave them at the home and move to the next call."
Kalendar says you also don't want to go to the hospital if you don't need oxygen or a ventilator and can recover just the same at home.
Last week, Nassau EMTs were advised not to transport patients in cardiac arrest who could not be revived at the scene in 20 minutes.
Nassau police and police medics Wednesday received 1,622 calls. 154 of them were related to COVID-19.
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