LOS ANGELES, Jan 5 (Reuters) Los Angeles health officials have asked first responders to stop bringing adult patients who cannot be resuscitated to hospitals for treatment, citing lack of beds and medical staff , Because the latest COIDID-19 is in danger of drowning in the city’s health system.
The orders, issued late on Monday and effective immediately, marked further escalation of measures being taken nationwide by state and local authorities due to an alarming increase in COVID-19 infections, hospitalizations and deaths.
Medical Director of the Los Angeles County Emergency Medical Services Agency, Marianne Goss-Hill, said “patients with traumatic complete arrests who meet the current ref 814 criteria for determination of death will not be resuscitated and are declared dead.” Will go and not be transported. ” Under direction.
Ref 814 refers to the county’s policy on the determination and pronunciation of death in a patient who has not been taken to a hospital.
In America’s most populous California, it is particularly difficult because of the latest coronavirus virus that some public health officials have credited with organizing thanksgiving ceremonies in November. Los Angeles is one of two counties that report a shortage of intensive care unit beds.
The state of some 40 million residents reported 72,911 COVID-19 cases on Monday, a record a day since the epidemic began.
EMS Director Kathy Chidester of Los Angeles County called the situation a “hidden disaster”, which is clearly not visible to the public in a county where COVID-19 patients missed a very 10 minutes last week. Were dying at the rate of.
In some cases ambulances have been forced to wait several hours to unload patients, causing delays in the county’s emergency response system.
There are a total of 20.8 million cases and 355,00 COVID-19 deaths in the United States. As of Tuesday a record 129,000 COVID-19 patients were in hospitals.
The worsening situation has put pressure on state and local authorities to expedite the delivery of two vaccines approved for emergency use to protect against coronavirus.
Federal health officials said Monday that more than two-thirds of the 15 million coronavirus vaccines manufactured by Pfizer Inc. and Modern Inc. and shipped to the United States have not yet been administered.
But some health workers began receiving their second shots of the Pfizer vaccine this week. Both vaccines require two doses for three or four weeks.
The governors of New York and Florida have said they will punish hospitals that fail to remove shots quickly.
“It’s a matter of life and death,” New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said at a press conference on Tuesday. “If a hospital cured all its health workers, we would withdraw that supply and go to the necessary workers.”
The US government is considering halting the dose of Modern’s vaccine to free up supplies for more immunizations.
But scientists at the National Institutes of Health and Modern said on Tuesday that it could take two months to study whether half the dose would be effective. [nL1N2JG2A4}
Reporting by Dan Whitcomb and Steve Gorman in Los Angeles; Additional reporting by Lisa Shumaker in Chicago; Editing by Bill Berkrot