The pandemic environment in Los Angeles County hospitals is so bad that emergency departments have been advised to try to reduce oxygen consumption and not take patients to hospitals with virtually no chance of survival. Officials now say they should focus on patients with the best chance of survival.
Action has been taken, as circumstances are expected to worsen in the coming weeks, when patients who fell ill over the Christmas holidays need treatment and authorities desperately seek ways to increase capacity and reduce capacity levels. It’s understood that triage care is now to solely focus on the sickest patients who are presented.
Hospitals are moving to quickly release sick patients who are usually allowed to stay for additional observation in less crowded situations. It has helped, but officials fear the influx of new patients, many with COVID-19, will exceed their ability to weed out less critical patients.
As a sign of the burden of increasing critical care for critically ill patients, the Los Angeles County Emergency Medical Services Agency on Monday released a policy that rescuers must conserve oxygen by giving it only to patients saturated with oxygen below 90%.
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