The COVID-19 virus has drastically affected the way we as Americans and as people live our day to day lives. We here at DeSoto EMS want you to know that we are doing everything we can to do our part to help slow the spread of this virus and help protect you and our employees.
We have set up a special page which can be found here, to help keep you up to date with the current status of this virus and how it is affecting us as a parish and as an agency. This is also where you can find educational material and tips on how you can handle this situation as it continues to unfold and develop. We ask for your continued support and prayers as we and your other parish agencies work together to continue to provide you with the emergency care and response you have come to know and trust.
How is EMS handling the virus?
DeSoto EMS takes the coronavirus spread very seriously. We are following all recommended procedures given to us by the CDC and state government to minimize the spread of the virus. We are also working very closely with our medical direction to ensure the best care we can give our patients, while still minimizing exposure to our crews, patients and community.
Here are some of the things we are doing-
Our 911 dispatchers are pre-screening callers for patients with symptoms that pose a high risk of possible infection.
We are increasing our use of personal protective equipment like face masks and gowns for patients with increased risk of being infected.
To limit exposure we are not allowing any family to ride in ambulance (unless you are the parent or guardian of a minor),
We are also being very diligent in the decontamination of our units and crews when we have a suspected or confirmed case of infection.
What can You do to help EMS?
To help protect yourself and your loved ones from becoming unnecessarily exposed or infected, it is important to only use 911 or visit the hospital for emergency needs.
If you feel you might be infected and your symptoms are "NOT" severe (difficulty breathing, chest pain, fever that you cannot control with medication) contact your doctor and seek advice to see if you need to be seen in the Emergency Room.
If you have symptoms such as a mild fever or cough, stay home and treat yourself with the typical over the counter medications and contact your primary doctor for further guidance.
If you do feel the need to call for an ambulance, when we arrive we will thoroughly assess you and go over your symptoms with you. We will then, based on your condition, go over with you the need to either be seen in the emergency room or possibly stay home and treat yourself or to follow up with your primary doctor. Please understand that unnecessary people in the emergency rooms during this time greatly limits the hospitals from being able to treat people in desperate need of emergency care and it also exposes you to possible infection unnecessarily.
How do we move forward?
There is still much to learn about the coronavirus and how it will affects us, but there is also a wealth of information out there to help us slow the spread and stay safe.
When looking for information use reliable sources such as the CDC, la.gov and the World Health Organization to get the most accurate information. You can also follow us and your local parish agencies on Facebook for updates and news as well. Below are some links that can help you prepare and answer many of your questions about how this epidemic can affect you.