The St. Mary’s County Department of Emergency Services is asking St. Mary’s County residents to help alleviate the unprecedented strain that COVID-19 and its emerging variants have placed on the area’s emergency medical services (EMS) personnel, frontline responders, and hospitals. COVID-19 infections continue to spread rapidly throughout Maryland. Increased numbers of hospitalizations have led to longer patient wait times in the area’s emergency departments (ED), as well as a shortage of available staffed beds in hospitals. Healthcare facilities are being required to triage (sort) patients as they arrive to ensure the sickest receive treatment first. In some cases, ED patients with non-life-threatening emergencies may wait for extended periods, some exceeding 24 hours. Consequently, calling 9-1-1 for an ambulance does not guarantee faster care in the ED. Because local hospitals may be full, ambulances may be required to take patients to other regions. This takes EMS units out of their communities for extended periods, making them less available for urgent 9-1-1 calls such as heart attacks and vehicle accidents. In light of this unprecedented burden on EMS personnel, hospital staff, and our health system, the St. Mary’s County Department of Emergency Services is seeking the community’s assistance in the following ways: […]
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