Ind. EMS urges those with chronic conditions not to put off calling 911

The agency said on Facebook that those with conditions such as chest pain, high blood pressure and abnormal blood sugar shouldn't hesitate to seek treatment


The Times, Munster, Ind.

KEENER, Ind. — The Emergency Medical Services provider for the DeMotte area issued a warning Sunday to people with chronic health conditions to not let the coronavirus pandemic prevent them from calling 911 if they need medical attention.

EMA providers nationwide are seeing an increase in out-of-hospital deaths because people with chronic health conditions are opting not to seek medical attention in an attempt to avoid potential COVID-19 exposure, Keener Township EMS said in a Facebook post.

"Don't sit at home with chest pain, high blood pressure, abnormal blood sugars, fluid in your legs or lungs, or other issues and not seek medical treatment out of fear from being exposed to COVID-19," the post said. "You are far more likely to succumb to your pre-existing conditions, which would be rather unfortunate. If you experience a symptom or something that three months ago would have prompted you to call 911 for an ambulance or to be evaluated by a doctor in an emergency room, it should prompt you to do the same today."

Ambulance services and emergency rooms are prepared to handle possible COVID-19 patients and patients with other health issues simultaneously, Keener Township EMS said.

Ambulance services and emergency rooms have implemented new precautions to protect health care workers and the people they treat by screening for symptoms, thoroughly disinfecting "all day, every day," and allowing for the isolation needed to make health care visits safe for all, the post said.

Keener Township EMS said its employees are screened at the start of each shift.

"Employees who are ill or potentially ill are sent home without repercussion," the post said. "Employees who are sick are encouraged to stay home."

All ambulances and equipment are disinfected after every use, and crews use all personal protective equipment. The use of such equipment is a precaution, and should not be feared.

Masks are provided to patients while with EMS, and 911 dispatchers screen callers for possible COVID-19 symptoms before EMS arrives.

The questions allow EMS crews to take extra precautions before arriving.

"Please answer these questions and do not hang up the phone," the post said.

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©2020 The Times (Munster, Ind.)

 

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McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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