NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – In addition to area hospitals, MedStar is undertaking extra preventative measures amid a potential coronavirus outbreak.
They’re beginning additional dispatch and on-scene patient screening for any 911 calls in which the patient has a respiratory ailment.
The additional screening includes questions about the patient’s recent history of travel to areas where the coronavirus is suspected or close contact with people from effected areas who are symptomatic for a respiratory infection.
The healthcare system is also undertaking the following special ambulance preparations:
- Speed packaging personal protective equipment (PPE) kits for field staff
- Including gowns, high efficiency face masks with splash guards, hoods and of course, gloves
- Placing surgical masks on patients with respiratory illnesses to help prevent droplet contamination
To prevent transmission, MedStar encourages frequent hand washing, avoiding respiratory exposure, and if you are sick — stay home.
MedStar’s Medical Director, Dr. Veer Vithalani released the following medical directive, reading in part: Remember that fever may not be present in some patients, such as those who are very young, elderly, immunosuppressed, or taking certain fever-lowering medications.
For patients identified through the 911 call-taking process, MedStar will place a surgical mask on the patient, don airborne-precautions such as gloves, fluid-resistant gown, N-95 face mask and eye protection.