The virus is continuing to exhaust almost all available medical personnel and resources.
Despite the global pandemic, many Americans insisted on traveling during the holidays, not only interstate but also internationally. Even with the numerous warnings issued by many national, state, and local-level institutions warning people of the dangers associated with traveling while the COVID-19 pandemic burgeons on, people still had their way. Now, as predicted, an uptick in Los Angeles County, one of the country's virus hotspots, is set to experience the worst hospitalizations due to the virus ever.
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A memo sent out to ambulance workers last week in the county illuminated just how dire the situation is currently, issuing a new set of instructions regarding transporting patients.
"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 non-traumatic out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) shall not be transported [if]return of spontaneous circulation (ROSC) is not achieved in the field," the memo said. Essentially, if a patient is declared dead on the scene or a pulse is unable to be detected, they will not be transported to a hospital.
Los Angeles Public Health updated locals in a tweet confirming the dire situation and urging people to stay home to prevent "more suffering & death and protect frontline workers." In addition to the new patient transporting memo, LA County hospitals are also suffering internally with reports that they are alarmingly overcrowded right now with ICU unit availability bottoming out. Oxygen supply has also hit a troubling new low.
"We're likely to experience the worst conditions in January that we've faced the entire pandemic, and that's hard to imagine," Barbara Ferrer, Los Angeles County Director of Public Health said.
Fair to say everyone needs to start taking the pandemic a little more seriously.