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Health

New guidance issued to EMS workers to bring trauma patients to Portland and Bangor, not Lewiston

Emergency medical technician Justine Berry with Susquehanna Township EMS in Harrisburg, Pa., cleans an ambulance with antimicrobial wipes after a patient has been removed. EMS directors say more cleaning supplies and protective equipment will be vital if the coronavirus becomes widespread.

EMS workers in Maine will now transport most trauma patients to Maine Medical Center in Portland or Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor, not Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston.

The Medical Direction and Practices Board issued the guidance to EMS workers today after CMMC announced last week that it only would provide sporadic coverage for trauma patients with head and spinal chord injuries, and will suspend the service within 60 days.

State EMS Medical Director Dr. Matt Sholl said during the Board meeting it will take time to devise a new state trauma plan that takes into account CMMC's reduction in services.

"Things are changing rapidly around us in the context of this loss of resources," Sholl said.

The EMS Trauma Advisory Committee will hold an emergency meeting on Dec. 28 to further resolve issues related to care for patients with traumatic head and spinal chord injuries in Maine.