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Review
. 2020 May 8;S0735-1097(20)35223-2.
doi: 10.1016/j.jacc.2020.05.006. Online ahead of print.

Allocating Scarce Resources and Triaging Patients During the COVID-19 Pandemic

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Free PMC article
Review

Allocating Scarce Resources and Triaging Patients During the COVID-19 Pandemic

James N Kirkpatrick et al. J Am Coll Cardiol. .
Free PMC article

Abstract

The COVID-19 pandemic and its sequelae have created scenarios of scarce medical resources, leading to the prospect that healthcare systems have faced or will face difficult decisions about triage, allocation and reallocation. These decisions should be guided by ethical principles and values, should not be made before crisis standards have been declared by authorities, and, in most cases, will not be made by bedside clinicians. Do not attempt resuscitation (DNAR) and withholding and withdrawing decisions should be made according to standard determination of medical appropriateness and futility, but there are unique considerations during a pandemic. Transparent and clear communication is crucial, coupled with dedication to provide the best possible care to patients, including palliative care. As medical knowledge about COVID-19 grows, more will be known about prognostic factors that can guide these difficult decisions.

Keywords: COVID-19; End of life; Ethics; Palliative Care; Resource Allocation.

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