Idaho public health officials announced on Tuesday that they have activated the Crisis Aid Standard. ” Allows the allocation of medical services to higher-level hospitals, because there are more patients with coronavirus than institutions can serve.
Idaho Hospitals Begin Treating COVID-19
The Idaho Department of Health and Human Services took the measure behind the scenes on Monday and publicly announced it in a statement Tuesday morning, warning residents that they might not receive proper care if they needed hospitalization.
The move is driven by a sharp rise in the state’s confirmed cases of coronavirus in recent weeks. Idaho has one of the lowest vaccination rates in the United States, and the number of hospitalized patients with COVID19 has increased significantly.
This definition applies to 10 hospitals and health systems throughout Idaho and central northern Idaho. The agency says its goal is to expand medical care to as many patients as possible.
This measure allows hospitals to allocate limited resources, such as intensive care units, so that patients most likely to survive and make another major change in their patient care, instead of traditional wards or abandoning vital medical equipment
At Kootenai Health, the largest hospital in Northern Idaho, some patients have to wait a long time for a bed to open in a full intensive care unit, Dr. Robert Scoggins, Chief of Staff. In an intensive care unit, an intensive care nurse can monitor up to six patients with the help of two other non-intensive care nurses. This is a large deviation from the usual ICU nurse to ICU patient ratio.
On Monday, several ambulance patients are being treated in a converted section of the ambulance lobby, and the entire third floor of the hospital is also given over to coronavirus patients.
According to Scoggins, planned and emergency surgeries have been put on hold and Kootenai Health is struggling to admit acutely injured patients who are usually referred from smaller hospitals. Other states are preparing to take similar actions if necessary.
The influx of patients into Idaho hospitals was horrifically predicted by state health care providers. Health experts say there could be up to 30,000 new coronavirus infections in Idaho by mid-September each week if continued at current infection rates.
“Crisis standards of care are the last resort. This means that we have depleted our resources to the point where our health care system cannot provide the treatment and care we expect, ”Department of Health and Idaho Director Dave Jeppesen said in a statement.
The best tools we have to tackle this problem are vaccinating more people and wearing masks indoors and outdoors in crowded public places. Choose vaccinations as soon as possible; it is your best defense against COVID19 hospitalization.
The assignment will remain in effect until sufficient resources, including hospital staff, beds, and equipment, or the number of patients, are reduced to ensure a normal level of treatment for all.
As of September 1, more than 500 people have been hospitalized with COVID19 across the state. and more than a third of them are in intensive care beds.
Idaho hospitals have struggled to fill the nursing, sanitation, and health care vacancies that are empty, in part because some staff has left because they are exhausted by the pandemic and others have been quarantined due to infection with COVID19.
The Federal medical and administrative personnel are available under US contracts. Idaho National Guard soldiers will provide logistical support such as exams and laboratory tests.
On Tuesday, the governor called the decision to restrict medical care “an unprecedented and unwelcome moment in our state’s history” and called on people to get vaccinated.