UPDATE: New York Pulls Back Do Not Resuscitate Order Amid Coronavirus

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Last Updated: 12:35pm
A man on a stretcher is moved from a Brooklyn apartment building to an ambulance by New York firefighters and EMT's (AP Photo)

NEW YORK (VINnews) — New York State has abruply nixed a controversial new directive that asked first responders to not work on patients who didn’t have a pulse upon arrival to the scene.

The drastic move was announced by New York State in a memo last week.

Before the change, the protocol was to spend 20 minutes working on patients in cardiac arrest. But according to the state Health Department memo, the decision to roll that back was “necessary during the COVID-19 response to protect the health and safety of EMS providers by limiting their exposure, conserve resources, and ensure optimal use of equipment to save the greatest number of lives.”

New York first responders didn’t take kindly to the new directive, according to The Post.

“They’re not giving people a second chance to live anymore,’’ says Oren Barzilay, who is head of the city union which includes EMTs and paramedics as members.

“Our job is to bring patients back to life. This guideline takes that away from us,” he continued.

This wasn’t the first change in guidelines issued to emergency responders as of late. Earlier this month, the Regional Emergency Services Council of New York asked emergency responders to not transport cardiac arrest patients to the hospital if their heart could not be restarted at the scene.

However, the protocol to carry out 20 minutes of revival attempts at the scene remained in effect until last week.

Despite the new directive, the FDNY had announced that “the NYC 911 system will continue to maintain a higher level of care.” This means they would still attempt to revive patients at the scene.

However, the Post is now reporting that State Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker has now rescinded the new guidelines.

According to a new statement by the New York Health Department, these guidelines “don’t reflect New York’s standards and for that reason DOH Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker has ordered them to be rescinded.”

Counclilman Chaim Deutsch thanked the Health Department for making the right decision following the reversal.


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