Florida plan advises hospitals to bar some patients in event of severe flu pandemic

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    florida plan advises hospitals to bar some patients in event of severe flu pandemic

    florida health officials are drawing up guidelines that recommend barring patients with incurable cancer, end-stage multiple sclerosis and other conditions from being admitted to hospitals if the state is overwhelmed by flu cases.

    the plan, which would guide florida hospitals on how to ration scarce medical care during a severe flu outbreak, also calls for doctors to remove patients with poor prognoses from ventilators to treat those who have better chances of surviving. that decision would be made by the hospital.
    http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/nat...,2336680.story
    scary thought that we are even talking about this!

    couple links to stats/graphs below for those who like the visuals(you can also link to them from the article itself)
    http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/nat...4989.htmlstory
    http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/nat...6711.htmlstory


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    Good article. As it stands now, I do not think that this rationing would be likely to be needed, but better to be prepared. I could easily see this scenario if bird flu was the pandemic virus, however...

    http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/nat...,2336680.story

    From your article:
    Quote from www.sun-sentinel.com
    When Utah tested a similar plan in late August, the drill revealed difficulties that Florida clinicians and patients are likely to encounter.

    Utah family physician Pete DeWeerd had to tell a mock patient's mother that her 7-year-old daughter, who had cerebral palsy and was suffering from the flu, would be turned away from the hospital and likely die.

    "I don't like to tell you this," he said he told her, "it feels unfair, but our list is our list is our list." He added: "It was awful. You get a huge lump in your throat."

    Dr. Tom Kurrus, medical director of St. Mark's Hospital in Salt Lake City, called it "emotionally draining" when mock patients and family members yelled, screamed and took issue with who was denied treatment.

    "The major weakness in our preparedness had to do with security," he said.

    Kurrus said that although the exercise was covered widely in Utah's media, the public isn't aware that the disaster plans call for rationing.


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