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What COVID is Doing to Emergency Services

Posted on March 7, 2022

A recent report detailed how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted availability and wait times for ambulances and the ER. In the article, first responders in Michigan reflected on the impact the pandemic has had on their work.

With increased safety protocols, first responders must now clean and disinfect equipment and the ambulance in between runs, which can delay their responding to a new medical emergency. Many emergency service providers are also experiencing staff shortages, and as a result may have fewer medical squads ready to respond.

The article highlighted how hospitals are also experiencing staffing shortages while operating at capacity, with all beds filled. This can make wait times in the ER significantly longer, even when patients arrive by ambulance: if an ER cannot take a patient immediately, the paramedic is required to wait. That further delays the medical squad from cleaning and disinfecting, and then responding to another call.

Long hours, short staffing, and stress from the pandemic continues to take its toll on the mental health of first responders and hospital healthcare providers. A poor decision in the ER could result in severe and even life-threatening consequences. If you would like to discuss a matter with a Philadelphia attorney with experience litigating emergency room injury cases, please contact us.