Hours of traffic jams at clinics: US ambulances leave the dying behind

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Hours of traffic jams at clinics
US ambulances leave the dying behind

In parts of the US, the pandemic is out of control. In Los Angeles, for example, triage begins in the ambulance. Heart attack victims are sometimes no longer brought to clinics, oxygen is rationed on the way there. And the health department is certain: the worst is yet to come.

Rescue workers in the US District of Los Angeles have been instructed not to bring patients with a low chance of survival to hospitals because of the overload caused by the corona wave. If resuscitation on site should not be successful in the event of a cardiac arrest, the patients should “not be transported”, according to an order from the emergency services. In addition, the administration of oxygen should be limited to patients with low blood oxygen saturation of less than 90 percent.

Many hospitals in the densely populated district “have reached a crisis point and are already having to make very tough decisions about patient care,” said health department chief Christina Ghaly, the Los Angeles Times. The hospitals are facing a new wave of Covid 19 patients after the holidays. “The worst is almost certainly ahead of us,” she said.

The hospitals would be flooded with corona patients. In many places, ambulances would have to wait hours before patients could be admitted, Ghaly said. She urged people to only go to hospitals in absolute emergencies.

Around ten million people live in the Los Angeles district, which also includes the metropolis of the same name on the west coast. Currently every fifth corona test there is positive. For comparison: In Germany it was recently around 13 percent.

Yesterday alone, there were 9,142 newly confirmed new corona infections and 77 related deaths recorded in Los Angeles. According to authorities, around 830,000 confirmed infections and around 10,300 deaths have been recorded in the district in the US state of California since the start of the pandemic. However, experts assume a high number of unreported cases.

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