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US New Mexico activates ‘crisis care’ standards for hospitals overwhelmed by covid

03:50  11 december  2020
03:50  11 december  2020 Source:   washingtonpost.com

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New Mexico on Thursday suspended all nonessential surgeries and activated “ crisis care ” standards , a move that clears the way for a system of rationing amid a coronavirus surge that has overwhelmed the state’s capacities. She urged residents to stay home for Christmas, and to wear masks and maintain social distancing. New Mexico reported an additional 23 covid deaths Thursday, bringing its total since the start of the pandemic to more than 1,800. The state had nearly 1,800 new cases on Thursday, with 916 people in the hospital .

Activating crisis standards of care gives hospitals the power to allocate — and potentially even deny — care based on the goal of who could potentially benefit the most when faced with a shortage of resources such as ventilators, medications or staff. Four patients, two dialysis machines: Rationing medical care becomes a reality in hospitals overwhelmed with covid patients. Doctors in Alaska, Idaho and Montana face agonizing ethical questions. Providence Alaska Medical Center in Anchorage is one of the first hospitals that have declared crisis standards . (iStock).

New Mexico on Thursday suspended all nonessential surgeries and activated “crisis care” standards, a move that clears the way for a system of rationing amid a coronavirus surge that has overwhelmed the state’s capacities.

Under the twin orders by the state’s health department, elective surgeries will be banned until Jan. 4. Health-care providers, meanwhile, will be permitted to begin implementation of a statewide plan for stretching the state’s increasingly scarce health-care resources. The system ultimately could allow doctors to determine which patients receive care, depending on who is likeliest to survive.

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crisis - care standards for its entire hospital system, declaring that a crushing surge in COVID -19 where COVID -19 cases have overwhelmed healthcare systems in recent weeks, activated its own “ Care has shifted in Alaska’s hospitals . The same standard of care that was previously there is no

“ Activating staffing crisis standards of care allows health care systems to maximize the care they can provide in their communities with the staff they have available.” Health care workers have been at the forefront of the COVID -19 response for more than 20 months. Staff shortages due to COVID -19 illness To help preserve hospital capacity, Governor Polis has issued Executive Order D 2021-135, which authorizes CDPHE to direct those facilities to transfer patients to prevent overwhelming the capacity of a facility and its staff. Hospitals can transfer patients that aren’t COVID -19 patients if that

The crisis-standards measure announced Thursday, which was deemed necessary by the “unsustainable strain on health care providers and hospitals,” will allow physicians and other health-care providers to treat covid-19 patients even if it is outside their practice area.

Leaders of the state’s largest hospitals have said that the system is a last resort but will probably be needed given an acute shortage of intensive care unit beds. Nearly 1,000 New Mexicans are hospitalized for coronavirus treatment, triple the total from the start of November.

Officials expressed confidence Thursday that standards will not suffer as a result of the shift. But they also warned that the state’s health-care system is operating on the brink and that relief is desperately needed.

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Idaho hospitals overwhelmed by COVID cases are preparing to enact crisis standards of care , which call for allocating what scarce resources they have towards the patients most likely to survive. This week, the state hit a record number of emergency room visits, hospitalizations and ICU patients. With one of the nation's lowest vaccination rates and a critical shortage of hospital beds and staff available for the influx of patients, Idaho could enact the crisis care standards in days, the Associated Press reported. Dr. Bill Dittrich at St. Luke's Boise Medical Center said the standards would leave

Idaho public health leaders on Tuesday activated “ crisis standards of care ” for the state's northern hospitals because there are more coronavirus patients than the institutions can handle. More than 500 people were hospitalized statewide with COVID -19 on Sept. 1 — the most recent data available on the Department of Health and Welfare's website — and more than a third of them were in intensive care unit beds. Idaho's hospitals have struggled to fill empty nursing, housekeeping and other health care positions, in part because some staffers have left because they are burned out by the strain of the

“We are serving every New Mexican who needs us,” Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) said at a news briefing Thursday. “But we are getting to a place where it’s really dire, and we have to do better.”

Lujan Grisham had told The Washington Post of plans to activate crisis care in an interview last week.

New Mexico’s move came as hospitals nationwide face the extreme pressures of a pandemic that is spreading from coast to coast at unprecedented levels, with cases hitting new highs almost daily.

Since the pandemic began, New Mexico’s governor has taken dramatic action to try to limit the spread of the virus in her state, implementing some of the most restrictive measures in the country.

Last month, she shut down nonessential businesses, ended in-person dining and implemented a host of other measures as part of an attempt to “reset” the virus’s then-accelerating transmission across New Mexico.

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Colorado is launching ' crisis standards ' to adjust staffing at hospitals as over a third of the state's facilities face a COVID -induced staffing shortage as the virus continues to ravage the state. The announcement comes as the state has already surpassed its hospitalization forecasts for the entire month of November in just the first nine days. At least 37 percent of Colorado hospitals say they foresee a shortage of staff within the next week. Currently, 1,426 people in Colorado are in the hospital with confirmed COVID -19 cases, with a staggering 9.5 percent of the state's COVID -19 tests came

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Lujan Grisham on Thursday said that two-week effort had been a success: While cases had been growing exponentially at the time of her order, they have fallen by a third in the past two weeks. The state’s positivity rate has also declined significantly, while the growth in hospital admissions has slowed.

“All of this is exactly what we were looking for in a reset,” she said.

But she emphasized that the state remained vulnerable: New Mexico has fewer hospital beds per capita than nearly any other state in the country, as well as an unusually large population of elderly and low-income residents among its 2 million citizens.

“We are still in an extreme risk situation,” she said. “That’s true in New Mexico. That’s true in the rest of the country.”

Lujan Grisham said the strains on the system could affect not only covid patients but anyone needing health care, including expecting mothers, accident victims and cancer patients. She urged residents to stay home for Christmas, and to wear masks and maintain social distancing.

New Mexico reported an additional 23 covid deaths Thursday, bringing its total since the start of the pandemic to more than 1,800.

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The state had nearly 1,800 new cases on Thursday, with 916 people in the hospital. Lujan Grisham called that “a frightening number.”

Statewide, there were only 33 ICU beds available in hospital covid wards.

The state’s decision to activate crisis standards was welcomed by hospital leaders Thursday. But it remained unclear how far they would go in using the more flexible rules to meet surging demand.

“Our team continues to be flexible and creative in creating capacity to treat those in need of care,” said Alexandria Sanchez, public information officer for University of New Mexico Health, one of the state’s largest health-care providers. “We appreciate the governor’s declaration, and will continue to do our best to care for our community.”

Lujan Grisham said the expected launch of a vaccination campaign next week represented a “huge bright spot in our fight against the pandemic.” But she said spikes from Thanksgiving and Christmas travel could mean the worst stretch of the pandemic could still lie ahead.

“We are bracing,” she said.

a man standing in front of a blue bench: A health-care worker warms her hands at a coronavirus testing site in Albuquerque on Dec. 2. © Adolphe Pierre-Louis/Albuquerque Journa/AP A health-care worker warms her hands at a coronavirus testing site in Albuquerque on Dec. 2.

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