Updated Nov 26, 2020
These contents have been adapted from the COVID-19 practice updates and created for your ease of use. They will be updated as new practice guidelines are released. Please refer to the complete guidelines within the linked document(s) for full detail.
We recognize that hospitals and Health Authorities have differing approaches and directives with regards to managing patients during the pandemic. Paramedics are asked to please follow BCEHS procedures whenever possible.
To further protect paramedics and patients from potential asymptomatic carriers, effective immediately, BCEHS requires paramedics to wear a face shield in addition to a procedure mask and gloves for all patient contacts. In addition, because the exhalation valve on elastomeric half face respirators (EHFR) is not filtered, effective immediately, paramedics are required to wear a procedure mask over the exhalation port in order to protect patients, caregivers and our colleagues.
Paramedics should continue to follow the guidance provided in the September 15, 2020 Practice Update for the COVID-19 Point of Care Risk Assessment (v9.9) with the changes that require wearing a face shield for all patient contacts and using a procedure mask over the EHFR.
Effective immediately, there is a new point of care risk assessment to determine the risk of COVID-19 and Influenza Like Illness (ILI). In situations where there is a negative screen, paramedics can revert to standard PPE as per the BCEHS Exposure Control Plan.
BCEHS Learning has developed a PPE Doffing Checklist.
April 15: New videos for donning and doffing have been released in accordance with the extended use policies. Please review the videos below for full information.
Dr. Bonnie Henry issued a letter requesting PPE conservation measures for health care workers, including paramedics, to extend the use of PPE on and in between patient encounters. This is a result of pressure on the global supply chain.
|PPE for Every Call||PPE for Suspected ILI call:|
Specific instructions on how to doff and clean PPE in order to reuse and conserve supplies are included in the linked PPE Safety Update below.
With current pressure on PPE supplies provincially, crews should only be utilizing BCEHS PPE and not restocking or otherwise using PPE from hospitals or other care locations. A reminder to all paramedics of the importance to extend the use of your PPE and to practice awareness of PPE conservation. In an effort to conserve PPE the lower mainland replenishment trucks have shifted away from distributing full PPE kits to instead providing loose stock for needed individual items.
Per BCEHS guidelines “The N95 needs to be changed when they get wet, you will know when this happens as the respirator will get clogged and respirations will be restricted.” This information is based on CDC guidelines that state N95 respirators can be used for up to 8 hours of continuous or intermittent use. Due to the current situation with COVID-19, BCEHS is moving to fit testing every two years
Reminder to staff that protective glasses are not single use and can be disinfected with Accel PREVention™ wipes and reused.
Frontline staff have raised questions regarding the types of gowns that BCEHS provides, the level of protection for each, as well as how to doff them safely. We've put together this reference sheet for your information.