Masks post COVID-19

Fezman92

NJ and PA EMT
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Does anyone else think that wearing masks will become required with PT/hospital interactions once all of this is over?
 

DesertMedic66

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No. We are already having some hospitals relax on mask requirements.
 

Aprz

Forum Deputy Chief
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I have to wear a microphone at work, and it doesn't work well without it being right up against my face/lip. Like it literally has to be touching skin for it to work for me. That disgust me so I wear a mask all the time anyways, haha! Everyone at work always thinks I am wearing the mask because of COVID 19 or something, but I just hate swallowing the microphone.
 

Jim37F

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While we (Fire side) are still pretty much wearing N95 to every medical, I'm starting to notice our EMS guys wearing surgical masks more. (Though we still have some Fire guys also starting to wear surgical masks instead, particularly Captains and Engineers who aren't necessarily right up next to the patient (where us FFs are)).


I doubt our routine "N95 to everything" will last much beyond regular mask mandates.

I can see N95s for most SOB calls, with surgical masks overtaking them, and then slowly filtering down to normal, though (hopefully) masks won't be as rare as they were before (there's def a few sick patients we should be wearing some sort of mask around regularly, COVID or no)
 

DrParasite

The fire extinguisher is not just for show
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I'm fully vaccinated and don't plan on wearing a mask unless mandated to. Would I put a mask on a coughing patient? sure, provided their airway was patent. would I put a mask on if I was giving a neb treatment? sure.

but on "routine" calls? nope, not unless my agency mandates it. We have already relaxed mask requirements at the station.
 

EpiEMS

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Certainly going to have a lower threshold for wearing one and I likely will wear an N95 during flu season - but probably not on every call…eventually.
For now, every call, N95, eye pro, and gloves.

One thing that I will do is wear a mask on any patient being ventilated or intubated. I shudder to think at how much airway stuff I’ve been exposed to.
 
OP
Fezman92

Fezman92

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EpiEMS

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Where do you live?

A state of perpetual anxiety about breakthrough infection, my dude. In all seriousness though, NY metro area where vaccination rates for over 18s are >70%.
 

Jim37F

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For now, every call, N95, eye pro, and gloves.

Where do you live?
That's technically what we're *supposed* to be doing here in Honolulu. (I don't believe Epi is anywhere near here though) They even issued these goggles that seal around your eyes almost like ski or swim goggles to theoretically eliminate any chance of any aerosolized droplets of anything nasty getting into your eyes.

Those have quickly been the first PPEs to get sidelined as things are starting to relax a bit. I was issued the bigger ski goggle version, and they're bulky, a bit uncomfortable, have a habit of fogging, and I feel like they just look ridiculous going to every single call wearing them. The big plus is that they fit over my regular sunglasses so yeah.

A lot of guys have just stopped wearing theirs altogether. I acquired a pair of regular safety glasses that I have been trying to make sure I wear to each call (those or my sunglasses... or for anything that is confirmed, or suspected confirmed COVID positive, or even things like CPR calls, etc, I'll wear the goggles)

So yeah, I can easily foresee as soon as "N95 on every call" mandate being lifted guys stop wearing them on every call. Things like CPR with likelihood of aerosolized droplets, or even generic sick people coughing/sneezing around us, yeah sure give them a mask, I'll still prefer an N95 around those patients, but surgical masks for most patients, and if everything actually does settle down, I can easily see by this time next year back to the old "gloves only, maybe safety glasses" for most routine medical calls, but probably with a far more sensitive trigger for busting out masks than prior to COVID (where we virtually never wore masks at all).
 

Jim37F

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A state of perpetual anxiety about breakthrough infection, my dude. In all seriousness though, NY metro area where vaccination rates for over 18s are >70%.
Our numbers are starting to rise as well. We were averaging new cases at around 20-30 statewide, surges of up to 50, but this last week have all been like 50-70 new cases per day. Our total vaccination rates are stubbornly hovering at 58 point something percent, even though the State has been campaigning to hit 60% (that's their goal to go to the next reduced tier of restrictions)
 
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Fezman92

Fezman92

NJ and PA EMT
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As far as I know at least in NJ, N-95s and eye protection are no longer mandatory for 911 calls.
 

fm_emt

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I think that it will very much depend on the location. I have the feeling that much of the SF Bay Area will be "Mask-on Forever" until the cows come home. More rural areas will relax quite a bit.

We are already seeing a couple Northern California hospitals starting to relax things a little bit, though.
 

Jim37F

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Mm, speak of the devil, a new Special Notice posted today from our Department specifically stating surgical masks are now the allowed minimum PPE for medical calls.

But N95s are still required for any procedures involving aerosolized treatments. Normally meaning ALS procedures by EMS like intubation and nebulizer and whatnot, BUT a strict reading of our medical protocols does list Oxygen Administration vis NRB as an aerosolizing procedure as well, so yeah....

Those treatments still require either N95 or half face piece respirators (with P100 filters) AND face shield or goggles.
 

DrParasite

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BUT a strict reading of our medical protocols does list Oxygen Administration vis NRB as an aerosolizing procedure as well, so yeah....
you guys are still putting NRBs on patients? I can't remember the last time I applied one to a patient that I wasn't going to be following up with a neb treatment....
 

BobBarker

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If we are fully vaccinated, we don't have to wear masks inside our stations or ambulances unless there is a patient on board. All hospitals so far in Southern California that we visit have not relaxed any mask requirements. I found 2 boxes of a good KN95 mask that fits great, so I usually wear them on each call so even if the patient does end up having covid, i don't have to change anything.
 

BobBarker

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you guys are still putting NRBs on patients? I can't remember the last time I applied one to a patient that I wasn't going to be following up with a neb treatment....
Yup, walked into a hospital to transfer a patient for Covid Pneumonia with hypoxia and a 104 fever and the patient was on 6L via NC satting at 90, 27-30 bpm, waveform not so great. Asked him how his breathing was, he said "terrible". Breathing treatment already done by staff before we arrived. Bumped him up to 15L via NRB and his sats improved to 93, breathing a little better he said. In our truck, we went up to 25L, calmed him down a bit and sats went to 96, better waveform, 22bpm and the pt said he felt much better. Oh btw, you would think a ER would give tylenol to a person with a 104 fever but nope, nothing.
 

E tank

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So many of the masks available to everyone from EMS to ICU are for theater only. Might as well tape a Kleenex to your face (which would do something). If a mask is what is required, go big or go home...
 

Jim37F

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you guys are still putting NRBs on patients? I can't remember the last time I applied one to a patient that I wasn't going to be following up with a neb treatment....
Well yeah.

Certainly most patients who we end up giving oxygen too end up getting NC, but that's only because most of those diff breathing patients don't have super low sats, but yeah, for low sats and not labored enough to break out the BVM, we're still treating with NRB like normal...
 

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