Disaster Triage: Who gets what?
Summary by: Sara Gray
Most hospitals develop a disaster plan, but few jurisdictions develop a plan for triaging or rationing scarce resources when the existing supply is overwhelmed. Rather than leaving individual health care workers to make these decisions, we should work together as a community of experts to develop ethical, practical and appropriate policies for triaging scarce resources during a disaster. Come and learn what the literature suggests, and join the global debate about this controversial topic. Prefer a paper to a podcast? Find solid overviews here: 1. Devereaux A V. Definitive care for the critically ill during a disaster: a framework for allocation of scarce resources in mass critical care. Task Force for Mass Critical Care summit meeting, January 26-27, 2007, Chicago, IL. Chest. 2008;133(5 Suppl):51S – 66S. 2. Christian M et al. Chapter 7. Critical care triage. Recommendations and standard operating procedures for intensive care unit and hospital preparations for an influenza epidemic or mass disaster. Intensive Care Med. 2010;36 Suppl 1:S55-S64. doi:10.1007/s00134-010-1765-0. And nice reviews of the ethics here: 1. Upshur R SP. Stand on guard for thee: ethical considerations in preparedness planning for pandemic influenza: a report of the University of Toronto Joint Centre for Bioethics Pandemic Influenza Working Group. Univ Toronto Jt Cent Bioeth. 2005;(November). 2. Gostin LO, Powers M. What does social justice require for the public’s health? Public health ethics and policy imperatives. Health Aff (Millwood). 2006;25:1053-1060. doi:10.1377/hlthaff.25.4.1053.