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We usually exchange linens at the hospital. Problem comes when the hospitals are out of blankets (or the one that kept them locked away so EMS couldn't take them). Due to that we'd stock a couple extra blankets at the hospitals that had them. We have laundry facilities at the station, but we are told that under most circumstances we are to leave dirty linen at the hospital and exchange them for clean ones there.

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You would be surprised how much linen service costs hospitals. Call your local linen provider and see how much it would cost you to set up linen service for your EMS agency. Then of course, hospitals then have to pay for what we in EMS steal or borrow that may never come back to that hospital. Most of our hospitals have gotten smart and orderd white linens for their patients and "orange" linens for the ER and EMS. This limits the loss of the good stuff, and all of the local hospitals in my immediate area use the same system. Miles away, in the big city, the hospitals order linen with their name printed on it, any linen that shows up that does not have their name is sent to the ambulance bay for our use.

To answer your question, crews will loose your blankets, it will become a nightmare to keep them clean, so the best bet is to continue to use hospital linen if you can.

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You need to sit down with the hospital and discuss this. They might not have an issue with your service but with the outlying services who come in and snag 15-20 blankets when they bring that one in a week patient. The hospital is probably trying to not single out a single EMS entity so they are going to make a kneejerk reaction and exclude all services.

A sit down would be best.

Have you looked at your crews and determined that they are not taking 15 blankets at a time to keep their rig stocked.

We had a service that brought patients regularly to our facility who would empty out our ED Linen cart on a weekly basis. Usually on saturday night. When confronted they said it didn't matter because they ended up brining the blankets back when the patients were transporter. Strange thing was that when our service transported patients to the other facility that they transported patients to we found our linens in that hospitals linen cart. So we were not getting our linens back all the time.

That's why I say to have a sit down with the laundry folks or admin at the hospital.

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We use Hospital linen for our stretchers (flat sheet, towel and bath blankets). Most of our ER's have the stuff sitting out for us to take and I keep a lot of it in my ambulance - especially towels and bath blankets. Our pillows come from the hospitals too. The only hospital that whines and won't let us take anything is Veterans Administration hospital.

Our company provides wool blankets for when it is really cold out. If it is raining I will cover the patient with a blanket and then a blue paper sheet with the fluid side out to keep patient warm and dry.

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We have disposable sheets, we then fold bath blankets to be opened fully when pt is to be loaded. We cover with a sheet, then a blanket with a patch with our service.

In the winter we have sleeping bag things that completely wrap the pt to keep warm and several of them to change out so they can be laundered.

Our local hospital launders our stuff

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One thing our local hospital did was install a key fob system. The linen locker would only open when the fob as swiped so they had a record of who took what. They gave key fobs to allt he local 911 EMS agaencies the regularly used their ED. That way they were almost certain to get thier stuff back. Yes ocasionally when we transported to a different ED we would leave it their but they would put it in bags and store it in the gear locker in the bay. When we sent someone back to retreive our things from the locker they would pick up the sheets as well and we would drop them back off at the other ED.

For cold weather we do use heavy wool blankets but they never come in contact directly with the patient, we always use our ED linens first then put it on top of them that way they stay as clean as possible. After the call we would wash them at the station. Each rig carried 2 wool blankets and we kept four in our station to swap out used ones.

For hypothermia patients we had these mummy bags that were like sleeping bags but disposable. They even had pockets for warming packs to be inserted. I will try and find a link to them, I know they came from our equipment company so I don't know if they are available online or through them directly.

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I can only speak about local blankets... they are rare ! the ER usually keep some with the sheets but they are very popular I guess... so what I do, is just use several sheets, and be sure the bus's heater is on at the start of the tour so the mod is nice and warm all day long.

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I can only speak about local blankets... they are rare ! the ER usually keep some with the sheets but they are very popular I guess... so what I do, is just use several sheets, and be sure the bus's heater is on at the start of the tour so the mod is nice and warm all day long.

Or you can just steal them, I mean it's not like there's any ethics involved or not like it's on the same caliber as cheating or anything like that.

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