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Canada All Saskatchewan paramedics directed to offer patients face masks during COVID-19 pandemic

01:15  07 april  2020
01:15  07 april  2020 Source:   thestarphoenix.com

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Public use of face masks has been common in China and other nations in Asia since the beginning of the new coronavirus disease outbreak. Now, as the United States faces an increasing number of COVID - 19 confirmed cases and deaths, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has

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a close up of a blue wall: A surgical mask is seen in this illustration taken, April 6, 2020. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach/Illustration © KAI PFAFFENBACH A surgical mask is seen in this illustration taken, April 6, 2020. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach/Illustration

Paramedics responding to calls in Saskatchewan will now offer all patients a surgical mask at the scene to wear as a precautionary measure to prevent the spread of COVID-19 (novel coronavirus).

The Saskatchewan Health Authority on April 1 issued a directive to paramedic services to offer face masks to patients as soon as they arrive at a scene. At Monday’s media conference, Dr. Susan Shaw, the SHA’s chief medical officer said she isn’t aware of any situation where there has been a refusal by a patient or paramedics to wear personal protective equipment.

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People sick with COVID - 19 , however, should wear face masks to reduce the risk of infection to people around them, according to the CDC. Health care workers and those "taking care of someone infected with COVID - 19 in close settings (at home or in a healthcare facility)," should also wear face masks

A face mask may offer added protection against getting sick. However, the CDC recommends you only use masks if you’re told to by a professional or are showing symptoms for respiratory illnesses, including COVID - 19 , in order to protect others around you from the infection. There are no known

On Monday, Medavie Health Services West, which serves the Saskatoon area, said effective immediately its paramedics will ask all patients to wear a surgical mask.

Spokesman Troy Davies said the ambulance service to date has not had any paramedics in isolation during the pandemic.

The Saskatoon fire department’s paramedics have been doing “doorway assessments” — asking questions from a safe distance of at least two metres — at the scene to assess whether there may be a COVID-19 risk present. 

Based on a calculation of the number of masks used in a day for patients and staff, Fire Chief Morgan Hackl said at this time the department has enough inventory.

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“This is just an extra positive measure for the safety of all responders to put that mask on the patient as we approach,” he said.

tjames@postmedia.com

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