Alaska Declares Health Care Crisis Which Allows Doctors to Ration Care and Choose Which Critically Ill Patients to Treat During Bed Shortages Caused by Huge Coronavirus Plague Spike

Alaska activated emergency crisis protocols on Saturday allowing 20 medical facilities to ration care if needed as the state recorded the nation’s worst COVID-19 diagnosis rates in recent days.

One in every 84 people in Alaska was diagnosed with COVID-19 from Sept. 22 to Sept. 29, according to data collected by Johns Hopkins University Center for Systems Science and Engineering.

Officials say the COVID surge is straining the state’s limited health care system, citing an instance where a medical team had to decide which of two critically ill COVID-19 patients would get to use a single specialized dialysis machine. The Wall Street Journal reported that the patient that had to wait for the machine died.

The emergency declaration — which covers three facilities that had already announced emergency protocols — was activated because of scarce medical resources at some facilities, limited staff and difficulty transferring patients because of limited bed availability. Other factors include limited renal replacement therapy and oxygen supplies.

‘The move to Crisis Standards of Care is not something we take lightly,’ Fairbanks Chief Medical Officer Dr. Angelique Ramirez said in a statement.

‘This is in response to a very serious surge of COVID in our community.’

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Source: Daily Mail