March 22, 2020

On rationing (ventilators)

Recomendaciones éticas para tomar decisiones en la situación excepcional de crisis por pandemia Covid-19 en las UCI

These are tough times for mankind. We are social animals and current instructions/recommendations are focused to behave exactly the opposite. Once the coronavirus hits someone, the result may be being hospitalised and one may need intensive care and mechanical ventilation. And if supply is not enough for the demand of ventilators, then starts the most difficult question: who gets the ventilator?. A professional answer is needed. Fortunately the scientific society  Sociedad Española de Medicina Intensiva, Crítica y Unidades Coronarias has released a document that helps to provide specific recommendations in such situation.
This is exactly what we can expect from a modern society. Professional decisions need guidance and consensus. There is no role for politicians in this issue and in this moment, scientific societies have to coordinate such efforts. Therefore my congratulations for their recommendations.
Basically, the document highlights the criteria of maximizing capability of benefit, and in the current situation and in intensive care, this has to be applied in a general way, for covid-19 and non covid-19 disease requiring such services. And these criteria should be applied in an uniform way.
In this blog I've been supporting the role of professionalism in taking tough decisions. Today I've to say that these is a good example of rationing to keep in mind.

PS. If projects like this one succeed, then tough decisions could be avoided. Great initiative.