Life and death: What critical-care triage could mean in Alberta ICUs – CBC

Premier Jason Kenney warned the acute-care system could be out of ICU beds and staff in 10 days

Sep 17, 2021

If COVID-19 pushes Alberta’s health-care system past the breaking point, critical care will be reserved for patients with the greatest chance of survival, according to a government document that details how those life-and-death decisions would be made.

Physicians are bracing for the grim possibility of rationing care.

Premier Jason Kenney warned Wednesday, as he announced new restrictions, that the acute-care system could run out of staff and critical-care beds within 10 days.

The critical care triage protocol, a 52-page document developed by Alberta Health Services, describes how the health-care system will cope if intensive care units (ICUs) no longer have the resources to care for every critically ill patient.

Revised most recently in May of this year, the protocol has never been enacted but health-care workers are now being briefed on the document, in preparation for the worst. And provincial health officials continue to warn, Alberta’s acute care system is is teetering dangerously close to a collapse.

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