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Relay EMS COVID-19 Response & Service Offering

BY Relay EMS

Relay EMS
COVID-19 Response
 
Dedicated COVID-19 Ambulances
With the Coronavirus (COVID-19) a reality in South Africa and the number of confirmed cases increasing daily the various medical services in our country play an ever-increasing and vital role, this includes Emergency Medical Services (EMS). Relay EMS provides a pivotal service in responding to and providing patients with emergency medical treatment and transport to medical facilities. With the increase in confirmed COVID-19 cases, the need to treat and transport ether confirmed COVID-19 patients or Patients Under Investigation (PUI), for medical care is growing.
 
The safety and care of our staff, patients and other healthcare providers are of the utmost importance to us. In support of this, we have strengthened and implemented new protocols and training which relate to the following:
¨  Infection control policies and procedures.
¨  Education on COVID-19, practical’s and daily refreshers for all our staff members.
¨  Screening of all the incoming calls to our Emergency Operations Centre (EOC).
¨  The use of low and high-risk Personal Protective Wear (PPE).
¨  Providing our crews with the correct PPE.
¨  Identifying low and high-risk procedures when providing emergency medical care to either a confirmed COVID-19 or PUI patient.
¨  Scene approach to either a confirmed COVID-19 or PUI patient.
¨  Transport of either a confirmed COVID-19 or PUI patient.
¨  Notifying the relevant receiving hospital of either a confirmed COVID-19 or PUI patient.
¨  Handover of either a confirmed COVID-19 or PUI patient.

Containment and isolation are critical components when providing emergency medical care and transport to either a confirmed COVID-19 or PUI patient. Within our fleet, we have two Iveco’s and we have identified these two vehicles as dedicated ambulances to use when providing emergency medical care and transport to either a confirmed COVID-19 or PUI patient. The vehicles allow us to provide the necessary medical care to patients while ensuring the safety of our staff and other health care workers. These vehicles provide:
 
¨  The driver compartment is separate from the patient treating compartment.
¨  Additional space in the rear compartment allows you to provide medical care while maintaining adequate distance.
¨  The driver and patient compartments have separate ventilation units, which is recommended by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
¨  The temperature and humidity can be monitored in the patient compartment.
¨  The vehicles have nonporous surfaces that can be cleaned and disinfected.
¨  The vehicles will be allocated to our shifts and will have dedicated drivers.
 
This will allow us to provide confirmed COVID-19 or PUI patients with the best in industry emergency medical care, improve safety for our staff and other health care providers and reducing cross-contamination. We have a vehicle-based in Nelson Mandela Bay District and one based in the Sarah Baartman District, depending on the rise of COVID-19 cases, the vehicles can be moved between the two districts to ensure we provide the necessary medical care and service.

Relay EMS Personal Protection Equipment (PPE)
The care and safety of our staff and patients are of the utmost importance to us. We have ensured that our staff have all the necessary PPE and we have daily training on the donning and doffing of PPE. Our crews have been issued with Tychem 4000s Suits, they provide high levels of protection with double zips, double cuff system and laminated with a barrier film. The garment provides our crews with high levels of protection while being lightweight, flexible and easy to wear. With the garments, we use the Tychem 2000 shoe covers. To complete the PPE, our crews use the N95 respirators, Dräger safety goggles or face shields and double surgical gloves.

Relay EMS Base
At our base, we have an isolated facility. This facility includes an undercover cleaning bay where our vehicles are parked and cleaned and our equipment disinfected. All dirty laundry can be discarded and washed, our vehicles are restocked from our medical storeroom and refuelled from our onsite 10000L diesel bowser, ensuring that we are ready to be back on the road.
Our Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) is isolated from our operations and crew area, and our onsite diesel generator ensures that our operations run without interruption.

Face Masks
With the outbreak of COVID-19, many new topics are been debated. One of the topics is face masks and should the public wear facemasks and do they provide protection?
We need to know how the coronavirus spreads. Current research shows that COVID-19 can be spread in two ways. Firstly, within a 2m radius, an infected person coughs, sneezes or breathes on you, you can contract the virus through your mouth, nose or eyes. Secondly, an infected person either coughs or sneezes on their hand or a surface, you then shake their hand or touch the surface, and transfer the virus to yourself by touching your mouth, nose or eyes.
With the National Lockdown, our Government is containing the spread of the virus. However, with the lifting of the lockdown regulations there are people who need to go to work, and for members of the public, times when you need to go to the shops for essential items. Do we then need to wear masks?
To answer this question, we need to know the types of masks, who should wear masks and recommendations from the Government. There are three types of masks, N95 Respirators; Surgical Masks and Cloth Masks.

N95 Respirators - Only for healthcare workers. Will be used by healthcare workers caring for infected or potentially infected patients whilst performing specific procedures. Critical Shortage of these masks and must only be used by healthcare workers.
Surgical Masks - Healthcare workers will use these masks at healthcare facilities. Patients at healthcare facilities may get these masks to wear to prevent droplet spreading in the healthcare facility. Shortage of these masks, reserve them for healthcare facilities.
Cloth Masks - Public should wear them when going out. It can help prevent droplet spread by the person wearing the mask.

The rapid spread of COVID-19 in the world has led to global shortages and shortages in South Africa of N95 Respirators and Surgical Masks. These masks are critical for the health care workers, who are on the frontline of the COVID-19 battle and should only be used by them.
It is now compulsory for all South Africans to wear face masks, the cloth facemasks need to be used correctly and with the current lockdown regulations that are in place, social distancing and good hand hygiene. When using the cloth masks please make sure of the following:
¨  Wash your hands before you put on the cloth mask. 
¨  Avoid touching the cloth mask and your face when you are wearing it.
¨  When removing the cloth mask do not touch the front of the mask, take off the mask using the elastic bands on the side. 
¨  To disinfect the cloth mask, either place it in boiling water for 5 minutes or wash.
¨  Wash your hands after taking off the cloth mask.
 
COVID-19 Company Service Offering
With the rate and the manner of the spread of COVID-19, containment and isolation are critical components. With the lifting of the lockdown, and to protect the health and safety of employees, businesses are required to implement regulations and guidelines, these relate to:
¨  Mandatory Screening of employees & people entering the workplace
¨  Hygiene Controls including the proper cleaning & disinfection pf work areas,
¨  Social Distancing controls,
¨  Face masks & hand sanitizers for staff,
¨  Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) for staff in high-risk areas,
¨  Transport of either a confirmed COVID-19 patient or PUI patient to a medical facility for medical treatment,
¨  Transport of either a confirmed COVID-19 patient or PUI patient to their house for self-isolation.

During this time, the safety and care of your staff are of the utmost importance. Relay EMS can help your business to implement the required regulations and guidelines. We can assist you with the following:
¨  Providing guidelines & procedures to implement – We have drawn up guidelines that you can use to implement the required regulations.
¨  Consulting & recommendations – We can consult and provide recommendations,
¨  Screening – Setting up of your screening area.
¨  Staff training on screening, hygiene, & PPE – On-site training for your staff who will be doing the screening,
¨  Onsite staff for screening – If required, we can provide you with staff to do the daily screening at your premises,
¨  Hygiene & PPE Stock – We have an extensive list of suppliers who provide hygiene & PPE stock. We can put you in contact with these suppliers.
¨  Set private rates for ambulance transportation – Fixed private rate for Non-Emergency Ambulance Transportation for a PUI patient who may require transportation from your premises to a pre-arranged medical facility, for testing or home for self-isolation.

Relay EMS can assist your company to implement the required guidelines relating to COVID-19. To discuss our service offering, and for a Service Level Agreement, please contact Julia Brits on jbrits@relayems.co.za


Relay  EMS will continue to offer you Emergency Medical Services, for any medical or trauma-related emergencies including IOD’s.

RELAY™ EMS (Pty) LTD is a private ambulance service operating within the Nelson Mandela Bay (Port Elizabeth & Uitenhage), in Graaff-Reinet and Cradock. We offer you responsive and professional medical services for all medical and trauma-related emergencies including inter-hospital patient transfers, IOD's, RAF, company EMS services, First Aid Training and Event Support.
The Relay EMS team consists of only qualified emergency care staff these include Advanced Life Support; Intermediate Life Support and Basic Life Support. Our vehicles are equipped and maintained to international standards, monitored by live tracing with computer-aided dispatching. When calling our 24/7 emergency number 0861 061 061 you will go through to our state-of-the-art Emergency Operations Centre, Relay EMS offers you the right people, training, equipment, and response.
Our core values of professionalism, clinical excellence, compassion, innovation, and integrity makes Relay EMS your first choice EMS provider.
 
Let us all unite together in the battle against COVID-19
#InThisTogether
#flattenthecurve

Website       | http://relayems.co.za/
Facebook     | https://www.facebook.com/RelayEms
Instagram    | relayems
Email           | info@relayems.co.za


 May 13, 2020
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