The following information was shared by the Sykesville Freedom District Fire Department on December 21:
As the Omicron variant of the coronavirus continues to spread rapidly, the impact on the Maryland prehospital system (EMS) and emergency services continues to increase dramatically.
Attached is the Status of Baltimore Area Hospitals Emergency Services as of 12:30 AM 12/21/21. You will see that many hospitals are listed under both âYellow Alertâ and âRed Alertâ.
Yellow Alert means “The Emergency Department is temporarily requesting that they receive absolutely no patients requiring urgent medical attention.” The yellow alert is triggered because the emergency department is experiencing a significant temporary overload, so Priority II and III patients may not be safely cared for. Before diverting pediatric patients, a medical consultation is advised for the transport of pediatric patients when the emergency services are on yellow alert.
A red alert means âthe hospital does not have ECG-monitored beds available. These ECG-monitored beds will include all inpatient intensive care areas and telemetry beds. “
During daylight hours, it is not unusual for many of these hospitals, including Carroll Hospital Center, to perform a “Rerouting”. This means that âan ALS / BLS unit is being held in the emergency department of a hospital due to the lack of available beds. (This does not replace the yellow alert.) â
WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?
This means that as cases of Covid continue to increase in the region, it is running out and in some cases has exceeded the capacity of local emergency services to manage patient care.
Our EMS teams from the Sykesville-Freedom District Fire Department have spent countless hours with patients in local hospitals as there are no beds available. In some cases, during a rerouting, Carroll County units are forced to find other hospitals, some as far as Pennsylvania. This can effectively take a medical unit out of service for two hours or more. Additionally, units from Sykesville have been called in to neighboring jurisdictions to help with overwhelming call volumes, just as our neighbors have to answer to assist with EMS calls in our first answer area. The domino effect on first responder resources is unlike anything seen in history.
WHY ARE YOU TRYING TO SCAR US?
Were not. It’s not about spreading fear, as one follower of our social media platforms suggested, or getting clicks.
It’s about being real to you. It’s about the fact that our EMS and hospital resources are under more strain than they were at any time during the pandemic, and this has a very real impact on public safety. Your public safety.
Be smart this holiday season. Mask yourself where you can, limit your exposure to other people when not needed, and if you haven’t received a vaccine or booster yet, consider getting one as soon as possible.
Our EMS and hospital staff are fighting valiantly to face the overwhelming demands of this pandemic. We ask you: do your part so that we can continue to do ours.
Have a safe and happy holiday season.
We’re here if you need us.
You can see the original post from the Sykesville Freedom District Fire Department here: https://www.sykesvillefire.org/news/832/Covid-Increasingly-Stressing-EMS-And-Hospital-Resources-In-Region
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