Cataldo Ambulance Principal owner Dennis Cataldo appeared before the Everett City Council on Monday night to clarify the company’s procedures for determining where to transport patients when they respond to calls in Everett, in the hopes of dispelling misinformation in the community that the longtime ambulance operator only takes patients to the Whidden Memorial – now CHA Everett.
According to Cataldo, “There are a number of factors that are taken into consideration when making a determination of where to transport a patient.”
Those factors include the patient’s general condition, which hospitals are rated to treat that condition and the statewide plan of entry for patients transported by ambulance to receive medical care.
Essentially, the state directs ambulance services to take patients to the nearest hospital capable of treating the patient for the condition they have.
In cases when the ambulance has a paramedic on board and if the patient is unable to communicate, the paramedic has some more discretion, but still has to follow protocols for “medical control,” which are also developed by the state.
Cataldo also told Councilors that his review of recent hospital transports originating in Everett showed that approximately 62 percent of patients in Everett were taken to the Whidden, while another 23 percent were transported to Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. The remainder were taken to other hospitals like Brigham & Women’s, Boston Medical Center, Melrose-Wakefield and others.
“Looking at calls for Chelsea and Revere showed very similar results,” added Cataldo.
“Everett is very lucky to have a community hospital that is capable of serving the community so well,” said Cataldo. “When you look at a situation, such as in Lynn, where there is a population of almost a hundred thousand people, and they are going to be losing their hospital. We still don’t know what the impact of that hospital closing will be on that community.”