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New York Patients Without Pulse No Longer Taken to ER


Jason Devaney    |   Thursday, 02 April 2020 12:20 PM

Ambulances in New York City will no longer transport patients whose heart cannot be restarted at the scene to the hospital because of the coronavirus pandemic.

With the city's hospitals overrun with patients and intensive care units full of people on ventilators because of COVID-19 infections, EMTs and paramedics were issued new guidance this week regarding patients who have gone into cardiac arrest.

Medics are trained to attempt to restart those patients' hearts at the scene before bringing them to the hospital. Under the new guidance, according to the New York Post, the bodies should be left at the scene if attempts to restart the hearts fail.

A veteran EMS worker told the Post, "They're trying to do what they can with the people who have the most likely chance of being saved.

"If you can't get revived on scene, that's it. They're going to work on you, but if they can't get a pulse back, they won't transport you" to the hospital.

The directive came from the Regional Emergency Medical Services Council of New York on Tuesday. The Post obtained a copy of the letter.

New York has seen nearly 100,000 cases of the virus and almost 2,500 deaths, both of which are the most nationwide.


This is so, so sad.  Selective care.  8888crybaby

Not to mention the morgues are almost full or by today, are full. (In Manhattan and other four  boroughs)

Horrible for the families.


--- Quote from: libertybele on April 02, 2020, 08:22:44 pm ---This is so, so sad.  Selective care.  8888crybaby

--- End quote ---


It is sad.

But the sad truth is that if someone is in full cardiac arrest - flat lined, and can't be resuscitated in the field by EMT's, especially if a period of time has passed before they arrive on the scene, very few if any are brought back in the ER. EMT’s are not allowed as I understand to pronounce someone dead, even if the patient is cold and has turned blue, so the EMT’s still go through the motions and the patient is transported to the ER and worked on for a time so a doctor can make that call and pronounce death.  This is often also done as to avoid lawsuits by family members who may claim that not everything possible (or in some cases impossible) was done.

But it’s often futile as even in the unlikely scenario their heart can be started again in the ER, they’ve often by now suffered irreversible brain damage and end up for a time in ICU on life support until a decision is made to take them off.  During this pandemic situation, the ER’s and ICU’s in places like NYC, don’t have the capacity or resources to go through the motions to attempt to revive someone who for all intents and purposes is dead.

It is sad but it is also to be expected just as it may be necessary to triage and only treat those who have a reasonable chance of survival as what we’ve seen done in Italy and perhaps other places including now in NYC as well.  :crying:


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