Oregon issues guidelines on how hospitals should prioritize care amid omicron outbreak
Oregon on Friday released guidelines on how hospitals should prioritize care in critical situations amid a wave of omicron coronavirus cases.
Oregon Health Authority given interim state hospitals crisis care tool that would help them decide how to prioritize care when the resources many patients need are limited.
The Interim Triage Tool indicates that if a hospital does not have sufficient resources to care for all patients, patients will be scored with “objective medical evidence”.
“Care decisions should be based on the likelihood of survival until discharge from hospital,” the health department said.
The tool does not allow hospitals to rate a patient “on the basis of stereotypes, assumptions about an individual’s quality of life, or a judgment of an individual’s ‘worth’ based on attendance. or the absence of disabilities ”.
A person’s past or future medical needs also cannot be used in the decision to care for another person.
“Triage 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,’ as directed.
Oregon said the guidelines are based on similar rules in states such as Arizona, Massachusetts and Washington.
Hospitals are also allowed to have their own rules as long as they comply with the department’s fairness guidelines.
The tool was donated as hospitalizations across the state and nation increase due to the omicron variant, which is known to be less fatal but more contagious than previous COVID-19 strains.