CDC Issues Interim Guidance to EMS for COVID-19

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Emergency medical services (EMS) play a vital role in responding to requests for assistance, triaging patients, and providing emergency medical treatment and transport for ill persons. However, unlike patient care in the controlled environment of a healthcare facility, care and transports by EMS present unique challenges because of the nature of the setting, enclosed space during transport, frequent need for rapid medical decision-making, interventions with limited information, and a varying range of patient acuity and jurisdictional healthcare resources.

When preparing for and responding to patients with confirmed or possible 2019-Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) infection, close coordination and effective communications are important among 911 Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs)— commonly known as 911 call centers, the EMS system, healthcare facilities, and the public health system. Each PSAP and EMS system should seek the involvement of an EMS medical director to provide appropriate medical oversight. For the purposes of this guidance, “EMS clinician” means prehospital EMS and medical first responders. When 2019-nCoV is suspected in a patient needing emergency transport, prehospital care providers and healthcare facilities should be notified in advance that they may be caring for, transporting, or receiving a patient who may have 2019-nCoV infection.

The complete guidance can be found at cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/guidance-for-ems.html

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