Updated April 17, 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.
Recommendations based on BCCDC guidance to ensure the safety of workers handling COVID-19 suspected or positive decedents. The guidance provides recommendations and procedures for the safe handling and care of the body after death.
Please view the short video provided by Rob Graham explaining the processes for paramedic COVID-19 exposure tracing and positive staff testing
The PHO is restricting the dispatching of first responder groups (non-paramedics) during the COVID-19 pandemic.
BC Emergency Health Services (BCEHS) will only notify first responders of the most critical calls (PURPLE) , as well as motor vehicle incidents, or any other calls that need their technical support.
First Responder agencies may also be considered for attendance at certain calls (RED) if an ambulance is expected to take longer than 20 minutes.
These provisions are in place until instructed otherwise by the PHO.
It is imperative that all crews independently assess every call for ILI risks before entering the scene. Crews should feel empowered to complete their own risk assessments and decide when to don appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE). Remember to use the Doorway Assessment in your decision to don PPE.
All waits for other hazardous situations, including potential violence, are still in effect to help ensure paramedic safety
In an effort to improve paramedic safety and to reduce the risk of transmission of influenza-like illness (ILI), and specifically COVID 19, BCEHS OSH, IPAC and BCEHS Fleet advise paramedics to close the slider window between the cab of the ambulance and the patient compartment during the transport of all patients.
Closing this window along with adjusting fans and vents as recommended, will create a positive pressure environment in the cab of the ambulance. A clean positive pressure environment reduces the risk of contaminants entering the ambulance cab
from the patient compartment during transport.
While wearing PPE gowns paramedics should consider placing the detector in a location where the sensor is not blocked. Some examples:
Do not attach the CO monitor to your PPE gown as this increases the risk of damage to the gown and complicates the doffing process. Please also ensure the CO Monitor is cleaned with other equipment at the end of a call.