Safety

Triaging and treating during disaster

Hospital Safety Insider, January 5, 2012

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Physicians facing medical disasters will face ethical concerns not always taught during emergency preparedness drills, reports a new American Medical News story.

Though emergency triaging systems are often in place in case of emergencies, when the issue at hand is who should receive the gift of life-saving efforts and who should not when there is not enough help can be difficult for physicians and other clinicians to deal with. Some spend years questioning decisions, while others—as noted in the case of Hurricane Katrina—may even face legal battles as they defend their triage decisions.

Also not often addressed is whether physicians and other caregivers will provide care in the event of bioterrorism or pandemic. According to a 2010 BMC Public Health Report, 79.3% of physicians would report for duty in the case of an influenza pandemic if asked, but 90.4% would show if required.

Source: American Medical News



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