Canadian pandemic triage plan published
| 12.05.2006 | 06:54:45 | Views: 3873 | ID:
December 5 '06: The Canadian government has developed a pandemic plan that addresses the first triage stages in the event of an influenza outbreak, the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota reported. The plans were first published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ) and they include other types of triage plans "such as severity scoring systems."
The actual plans are comprised of four central components: "inclusion criteria, exclusion criteria, minimum qualifications for survival, and a color-coded prioritization tool," CIDRAP reported. Simply put, inclusion and exclusion criteria dictate the demographics which would be included in pandemic triage, and those who would not be helped.The cutoff age would be 85 for those who would not be helped, though "the authors suggest the the topic of age cutoff requires more research and community input." The authors created the pandemic triage plans with the help of bioethicists at the University of Toronto's Joint Centre for Bioethics. "In the triage protocol, patients are reassessed at 48 and 120 hours to identify early those who are improving and those likely to have a poor outcome," those identifications include "minimum qualifications for survival," the report said. Minimum qualifications for survival "is a concept foreign to many medical systems in developed countries," the report writes, "but one that has been used in war zones and refugee camps." In the event of a large-scale outbreak of avian flu or another highly dangerous disease, medical systems would be overwhelmed and containment and treatment methods would have to be stentorian in order to keep the disease from spreading too much while using vaccines in the most effective way. Discussions in the medical and ethical communities continue over the ramifications and justifications of a scoring system that would place some victims outside the realm of medical treatment. Many experts have said more discussion needs to take place so that a better understanding of the implications of pandemic plans can be assessed.
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