Omicron push: Oregon health officials release interim triage tool on how to prioritize care
Oregon health officials have provided state hospitals with an interim crisis care tool to help prioritize treatment if they reach a point where intensive care beds, specialized equipment, and other resources are becoming scarce due to admissions of COVID-19.
The Oregon Health Authority (OHA) said in a statement that hospitals can activate crisis care standards if resources are limited, the number of patients requiring intensive care exceeds capacity, and if there are no option to transfer patients to other facilities.
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The tool can be implemented assuming the hospital has taken steps to expand its capacity to provide care, including stockpiling supplies, delaying elective care, and reallocating existing beds and staff who do not. are not. are not generally used to provide intensive care.
Hospitals can also use their own tool that conforms to the Oregon Principles for Promoting Health Equity at resource-constrained events.
Using the mid-triage tool, if health care resources are sufficient, all patients who could potentially benefit from treatment will be offered care and if resources are insufficient, all patients will be assessed individually according to best. objective medical evidence available.
The tool says that no one will be denied care based on stereotypes, assumptions about an individual’s quality of life, a judgment of an individual’s “worth” based on presence or presence. disability and that care decisions should be based on the likelihood of survival at the discharge hospital.
âUnder Oregon’s Interim Crisis Care Standards, state health officials expect providers to treat all patients with respect, care and compassion. any triage scoring criteria when examining people with underlying disabilities or certain underlying health conditions, âthe release said. âTriage decisions will be made regardless of morally or scientifically irrelevant considerations such as income, race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, immigration status, coverage of health insurance or other factors. “
The new tool was based on several existing triage tools released in Arizona, Massachusetts, and Washington state, and Oregon health officials made adjustments in accordance with the state’s fairness principles. health. non-discrimination, patient-directed decision making and transparent communications.
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State health officials also consulted with medical professionals, ethicists and disability advocates before releasing the tool.
âRight now, we want to put a triage tool in the hands of clinicians who are likely to be faced with some very difficult decisions in the coming weeks as the Omicron variant wreaks havoc and puts more patients in the hospital. . This interim tool is not perfect, but it ensures that clinicians can be confident that they are using criteria that are firmly anchored in Oregon’s values ââof non-discrimination and health equity in the face of these conditions. heartbreaking decisions, âOHA Chief Medical Officer Dr Dana Hargunani said in a statement.
The OHA said Oregon is committed to developing an ongoing tool based on feedback from a larger community.
The move came as hospitalizations continue to rise in states across the country, due to the omicron variant of the coronavirus.
Oregon reported 10,451 new confirmed and suspected cases and 33 new deaths on Friday.
In a separate statement announcing the news, the OHA said Dr. Peter Graven – the director of the advanced analysis office at Oregon Health & Science University – estimated that the expected outbreak could result in more than 1,650 patients. . hospitalized with COVID-19 by the end of the month.
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The number of hospital patients with COVID-19 in Oregon is 625, an increase of 37 from Thursday.
There are 47 adult intensive care beds available out of a total of 660 and 219 adult non-ICU beds available out of 4,075.