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Ambulance staff are wearing full PPE, appealing to the public for honesty and patience.

In Auckland, St. John’s crew now have to wear full aerial personal protective gear for each callout.

The St. John's Ambulance is parked at a depot in Central Auckland.

The St. John’s Ambulance is parked at a depot in Central Auckland.
Image: RNZ / Simon Rogers

This means gowns, eye protection such as face shields, gloves and N95 masks, all of which are changed after each patient.

As of yesterday, St. John’s had 93 employees isolated due to community contact with Cove 19.

The emergency services said most of the workers were temporarily downgraded, with negative tests pending, after patients gave incorrect answers to the Covid 19 screening questions.

Deputy Chief Executive Dan Oahs said staff are seeing about three to five people a day with coyotes, including at MIQ and their transfers, but they have extensive experience in infection control in ambulances.

“We have something that will best describe it as a big bomb. We try to use it as much as possible. Whenever we talk to a patient we know about “We do the equivalent of deep cleaning.”

St. John receives hundreds of calls a day and takes staff an average of seven minutes to complete each callout in Auckland when they complete delta screening, cleaning and PPE use.

Oahs said ambulances will participate in callouts, regardless of the patient’s condition, but they need to be honest with members of the public about their symptoms and exposure to Coved 19.

“We’re really asking the public to be really open with us.”

Vaccines are not mandatory for St. John’s staff, but everyone has been offered injections, and management estimates that more than 90 percent have received them so far.

St. John’s is currently collecting vaccination status for each staff member.

First Union Ambulance Coordinator and former St. John Staffer Faye McCain supported the ambulance service’s decision to increase the use of PPE in Auckland.

He said it was a difficult time for staff who had to isolate themselves after the show.

“It’s obviously very frustrating for them because it goes back to their families, so their families have to isolate themselves. Many of our members live with other essential workers.”

Andrew Swain, medical director of Wellington Free Ambulance, said his colleagues were checking and incorporating daily guidelines from the WHO, the Ministry of Health and the CDC.

He said staff adjusted their PPE in terms of callout, language barriers, patient awareness and their treatment, instead of wearing the widest option each time.

“In cardiac arrest, there are some things that need to be done immediately. These include chest compressions and defibrillation and this can be done with a basic level of PPE. Then another staff full PP. It will turn on and it will be able to handle the patient’s airways and breathing, which is definitely more dangerous. “

Dr Natalie Anderson, an Auckland emergency nurse and lecturer at the University of Auckland, said people were not generally thinking their best in health crises and that Delta had made it even more difficult to treat patients in hospital.

“We are wearing masks which makes it very difficult for people who are partially accustomed to lip reading and sometimes we may rely too much on family members to help us translate some of these ideas. Help. So be patient with the screening process. It will take a few minutes for us to make sure we are taking care of people in the right places. “

He said that the health system was spread before Covid 19 so the infection protocol was needed not only to protect the patients but also the first responders.

“People need to recognize that we are a precious commodity and we are a finite commodity, we are not drones that are just going to step up. If we get sick, we will not be replaced.”

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