Temporary BLS Protocol 932 - Temporary Statewide BLS Non-Transport of Patients with Suspected COVID-19

Temporary BLS Protocol 932 - No Transport for Suspected COVID-19 Patients

The Bureau of EMS released EMSIB 2020-17 Temporary Statewide BLS Non-Transport of Patients with Suspected COVID-19. This will look very similar to the EMS Triage Tool for COVID-19, we have been using in our region previously. However, there are some changes.

Included on this page, you will find links for the following:

  • EMSIB 2020-17 regarding release of the new protocol
  • Protocol 932
  • Protocol 932 Home Care Instructions provided by the Bureau of EMS
  • EHSF Home Care Instructions
    • The content is identical to the BEMS version except the bottom of the second page includes the hotline numbers for the healthcare systems in our eight-county region.

Temporary Statewide BLS Non-transport of Patients with Suspected COVID-19 Protocol #932 permits non-transport and home care for patients who meet certain criteria without the need to contact medical command for permission. There is a checklist provided with the protocol for guiding the EMS provider to determine if the individual does not have high-risks and can remain at home without contacting medical command.

Home care instructions are also provided and can be edited by the EMS agencies to include local hotline numbers or specific follow-up arrangements. As mentioned above, the EHSF version is attached, which includes those hotline numbers.

Protocol 932 Summary:

  • The protocol provides a purpose to identify patients that are safe to remain home.
  • Appendix 1 of the protocol provides a checklist to assess if a patient may remain home without contacting medical command.
  • Please note, some criteria is different from the EHSF Triage Tool originally released:
    • Patient age is now less than or equal to 60 years or older than 15 years
    • Circle the two symptoms (fever, cough, body aches, or sore throat)
    • New criteria specific for patient is taking an immunosuppressing medication (list is included in protocol)
    • Moderate/severe asthma is included for criteria stating a patient has a history of chronic lung disease
    • New criteria for patient has a history of dialysis or liver disease
    • New criteria for patient has severe obesity or pregnancy > 24 weeks
    • Heart rate is 50-110 bpm regardless of age
    • Systolic blood pressure is 100-200 mmHg regardless of age
    • Room air is included for oxygen saturation of equal to or greater than 95%
    • Respiratory rate is 12-24 breaths per minute criteria includes “and patient does not complain of respiratory distress or shortness of breath at rest”
    • Patient can ambulate without difficulty criteria includes “able to ambulate based on baseline disability with caregivers/assistants in home”
  • The checklist of criteria now permits the EMS provider to leave the patient at home with home care instructions without the need to contact medical command if ALL checks are in the non-shaded boxes.
    • If any check is in a shaded box, then the EMS provider needs to call medical command to determine if the patient qualifies for home self-care or needs to be transported to the ED or alternate destination.

 

Any patient may be transported at the EMS provider or medical command physician’s discretion. Additionally, if the patient desires transport after the recommendation to remain at home, then EMS must transport the patient to an appropriate receiving facility (i.e. emergency department) or an alternate destination (if approved by the medical command physician).

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