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Flu Nightmare: In Severe Pandemic, Officials Ponder Disconnecting Ventilators From Some Patients [View All]

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rmp yellow Donating Member (136 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-23-09 08:10 PM
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Flu Nightmare: In Severe Pandemic, Officials Ponder Disconnecting Ventilators From Some Patients
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Source: Pro Publica

With scant public input, state and federal officials are pushing ahead with plans that -- during a severe flu outbreak -- would deny use of scarce ventilators by some patients to assure they would be available for patients judged to benefit the most from them.

The plans have been drawn up to give doctors specific guidelines for extreme circumstances, and they include procedures under which patients who werent improving would be removed from life support with or without permission of their families.

The plans are designed to go into effect if the U.S. were struck by a severe flu pandemic comparable to the 1918 outbreak that killed an estimated 50 million people worldwide. State and federal health officials have concluded that such a pandemic would sicken far more people needing ventilators than could be treated by the available supplies.

Many of the draft guidelines, including those drawn up by the Veterans Health Administration, are based in part on a draft plan New York officials posted on a state web site two years ago and subsequently published in an academic journal. The New York protocol, which is still being finalized, also calls for hospitals to withhold ventilators from patients with serious chronic conditions such as kidney failure, cancers that have spread and have a poor prognosis, or "severe, irreversible neurological" conditions that are likely to be deadly.

Read more: http://www.propublica.org/article/flu-nightmare-officia...



Why not buy a whole bunch of ventilators now instead of complaining of the lack of ventilators in the future?
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