“Calling 911 for advice is never appropriate nor shall call-takers provide advice during the call,” San Bernardino County officials explained.
They further advised paramedics and EMTs who are responding to 911 calls and deciding when a patient is stable and not suffering from any life-threatening or life disabling event, have resorted to educating and referring patients into alternative avenues of the healthcare system for assistance.
Such alternatives include an individual’s primary care provider or nurse advice line for routine medical concerns or to discuss medical symptoms. Also, as always, when there is an urgent situation like a laceration that needs to be sutured, for example, local urgent care centers stand ready to assist.
It is also important to note how inappropriate it is—especially during this time of unmitigated crisis—for those seeking ambulance transport to an emergency department for a COVID-19 test or in hopes of receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. Such actions only serve to further stress a system that is already at its limit.
With the triple threats of colds, flu and COVID-19, healthcare experts continue to highlight the importance of preventative safety actions like frequent hand washing, sanitizing commonly touched surfaces, limiting contact with others to essential activities, wearing a mask and social distancing.
For more information and current recommendations related to COVID-19 please visit www.sbccovid-19.gov.