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Utah’s hospitals prepare to ration care as a record number of coronavirus patients flood their ICUs

AI tool can help doctors prioritize care, make discharging plans for COVID-19 patients
Posted at 6:01 PM, Oct 25, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-25 20:01:10-04

SALT LAKE CITY — With new coronavirus cases shattering records on a daily basis, The Salt Lake Tribunereports that Utah’s hospitals are expected to begin rationing care in a week or two.

That’s the prediction of Greg Bell, president of the Utah Hospital Association, who said administrators of the state’s hospitals confronted Gov. Gary Herbert on Thursday with a grim list: Criteria they propose doctors should use if they are forced to decide which patients can stay in overcrowded intensive care units.

Under the criteria, which would require Herbert’s approval, patients who are getting worse despite receiving intensive care would be moved out first. In the event that two patients' conditions are equal, the young get priority over the old, since older patients are more likely to die.

‘We told him, ‘It looks like we’re going to have to request those be activated if this trend continues,’" Bell recounted, “'and we see no reason why it won’t.'"

Click here to read the Tribune's full report (free access with or without subscription).
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