Coronavirus: paramedics ready to respond


The paramedics at Urgences-santé are ready to intervene if they have to take care of a patient carrying the new coronavirus.

Each ambulance has a special kit which the paramedics already use to deal with all kinds of viruses. 

“[It’s] for all contagious diseases, actually. We will wear the same equipment. Whether gastrointestinal, flu or other illnesses, ”said an emergency-health spokesperson.

Smith said paramedics who would be caring for a potentially infected patient would be warned before coming to his home. 

“The emergency medical dispatcher asks certain questions. If there is any doubt, the paramedics will be notified on the call card in the ambulance. ” 

Even safer equipment has already been used when there have been cases of Ebola, but it is believed that this time it will not be necessary. 

Special emergency room

In the emergency department of the Sacré-Coeur hospital in Montreal, patients with fever are asked to stand in a specially equipped room, away from other patients. 

“We ask to wear the mask and we ask them to settle in this room, where ventilation allows negative pressure, and that reduces the risk of transmission,” detailed the infection prevention coordinator of the CIUSSS du Nord-de -l’Île-de-Montréal, Chantale Cloutier. 

Here too, specific questions are asked of patients. 

“We will ask if the person has traveled in the past 14 days. We want to know in which regions the person has traveled. ” 

If the case is suspect, the patient is quickly taken care of by the emergency physicians. 

“We will immediately secure the premises to avoid exposing either employees, patients or visitors, and we will continue the evaluation to see the clinical stability of the patient,” said Marc-André Smith, microbiologist and infectiologist at the Sacré-Coeur hospital. 

Doctors can use three negative pressure rooms like this one, to prevent contagion.

For the moment, in Quebec, all the suspected cases of coronavirus have been negative.

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