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St. Joseph’s ER, flight crews hold joint training exercise

Apr 28, 2020

Drill simulated emergency response for critical and COVID-19 patients

TUCSON – Carondelet St. Joseph’s Emergency Department and Arizona Lifeline flight crews recently worked together to organize a simulated medical emergency training first responders in transporting and caring for incoming critical and COVID-19 patients.

air-evac-drill-300x200-news-releaseThe exercise allowed both St. Joseph’s Hospital trauma center staff and local EMS personnel to revisit and practice best protocols for communicable diseases.

Out of an abundance of caution and in an effort to protect both patients, healthcare workers and the community, Carondelet hospitals have taken appropriate steps for safety, including implementing guidelines as directed by the Centers for Disease Control.

Both parties’ ensured processes remained effective and efficient in preparation for when real patients would need to be transported and cared for. For training exercises, full PPE is conserved, but during an actual patient care event all participants would don appropriate personal protective equipment.

“The exercise provides a great environment for familiarity training, education and evaluation for hospital and EMS personnel,” James Woodhead, director of St. Joseph’s ED nursing said. “Ultimately, it allows us to provide the best and most efficient care to our patients.”

In the exercise protocols on PPE wear, the importance of proper donning and doffing, transportation of patient, and more were assessed. Participants practiced PPE conservation during the exercise, in an actual event they would be fully protected.

“Our teams are trained to go through these processes already, but we want to pay special attention and do our jobs best protect medical professionals and patients when dealing with a communicable disease,” Mike Schwartz, program director for Arizona Lifeline said.

Carondelet continues to monitor information from federal, state and local public health agencies for current information on the coronavirus. Our clinical teams are in constant review of infection prevention processes and update patient screenings as recommended by the CDC.

Carondelet hospitals continue to care for emergency patients, and delaying care could result in more complications if left unattended.

Carondelet Health Network is committed to safe, quality care, and takes precautions to separate COVID-19 patients and ensure a safe environment for treating non-COVID-19 emergencies.

Hospital officials added please don’t delay care if you or a loved one have symptoms that are best evaluated in an emergency room.

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