Who lives and who dies? With ventilators limited amid coronavirus, doctors might face hard choices

Which patient gets the ventilator? Doctors may have tough choices ahead

27.3.2020

Which patient gets the ventilator? Doctors may have tough choices ahead

Who lives and who dies? It's an inevitable choice doctors face if coronavirus cases keep surging.

“You have an 80-year-old and a 20-year-old and both need a vent and you only have one. What do you do?” said Dr. Christopher Colwell, the chief of emergency medicine at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center.Statewide, there are about 9,500 ventilators, a total that includes recent additions made by state leaders and others in anticipation of increased numbers of COVID-19 patients. The federal government’s national stockpile, which states can tap when their local supplies run low, has an additional 16,000.

These are difficult decisions anywhere, but particularly in America, where families often push for extreme measures to keep people alive even when they are very sick, experts say. And they aren’t choices that medical workers, who trained for years to save lives, want to make.

“One particular physician does not have the bird’s eye view of what is out there,” she said, adding that as a doctor caring for a patient, “you are probably not the best to make that decision because you always advocate for the patient.”In recent weeks, he has had first-hand experience in ICU treatment of these patients in his post as chief medical officer of Morristown Medical Center. He said his advice to places that haven’t been hit as badly as the New York metro area is: “Don’t squander time. This is when to get ready.”

“What happens to New York is going to wind up happening to California and Washington state and Illinois — it’s just a matter of time. We’re just getting there first,” he said.In extreme situations, a lack of ventilators could also mean that staff use a hand-held pump to push air in and out of patients’ lungs, said Dr. Wally Ghurabi, ER medical director at UCLA Medical Center in Santa Monica.

“A hospital over here that isn’t seeing that influx of patients. ... They could move the ventilators over if push came to shove,” Chidester said. “The beauty of L.A. County is it’s broad. It’s 4,000 square miles — it’s not like New York, it’s not like China.”

Experts say these end-of-life decisions will be particularly tough for people to accept in America, where much more money is typically spent to keep very sick people alive than in the rest of the world.Many Americans believe life needs to be protected at all costs, he said, but “we may not have that luxury if this disease explodes.”

“We think a lot of people want to live no matter what, but over the years, I have been taken aback by so many people who have said, ‘No, I’m OK.’” he said. “There are people who would say, ‘You know what, save somebody else.’”Sign up for the latest news, best stories and what they mean for you, plus answers to your questions.



Read more: Los Angeles Times

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FAKE NEWS! The richest country in the world, and we're having the discussion of whom will live. When realDonaldTrump gets sick... toughchoices whenitsyou whosimportantnow noventilatorforyou stepaside45 nextpatient whatthen karmasabitch How disgusting. I despise Trump. There hasn’t been an actual shortage yet. Quit trying to panic everyone.

The 'El Segundo Times' needs to do the right thing and go the same way as 'The Herald Examiner.' Doctors are literally playing God And those critical of “socialized” medicine always warned of these kind of choices, but couldn’t happen in our private profit based system. This is pure fear mongering. Irresponsible *journalism* at its worst.😡

You might not have heard..but there is no current shortage of ventilators. Far, far from it. They are asking news orgs. not to do this what if someday, maybe, doomsday disaster. Please stick to the facts, is there a shortage in LA? bullshit

Who lives and who dies? With ventilators limited amid coronavirus, doctor might face hard choicesWho lives and who dies? It&39;s an inevitable choice doctors face if coronavirus cases keep surging.

Fake news is the enemy of the people. Why are you pushing fear porn? What happened to the 1,000'a of ventilators that Elon Musk donated? Is there really a shortage? Please limit the hysteria. There is a national web tutorial tomorrow to show all hospitals the approved way to convert anesthesiology respirators for use. We also are learning how to use one ventilator for multiple patients. Ford/GE/3M will be producing by May (Project Apollo).

I'm almost 60 years old and am sequestered 24/7 so I don't get the virus. But, hell, life has been extremely difficult since the crash of 2008. It's a bitch to be over educated and underpaid, like many of Trader Joe's customers. So if the virus wants to kill me, I won't object. The virus is bad enough we don’t need bs articles on what bad could happen.

Really? Is it hard to decide if a 80 year old or a 20 year old gets the vent? Not for me. Nice fear porn. Obama is said to have warned Trump about this. Why is it no one has spent a dime preparing while Obama was President. Democrats failed to do what they preached but maybe they really never believed it could happen. Why waste money on hospital beds and supplies.

I am seeing lots of articles and stories with the words “may” “could” “might” in the headline is it really a good time for stories based on conjecture and guessing? Per GOP — old ppl are out. VoteThemOut

A 'Communication Issue' Means The UK Hasn’t Been Working With The EU To Get More VentilatorsIn severe cases of the coronavirus, hospitals use ventilators to help people breathe. The Joys of Brexit

Ventilators shipped from veterinarians to hospitals to combat COVID-19 shortageThe nation's hospitals, facing dire shortages of lifesaving ventilators as the coronavirus outbreak continues, are finding help from an unlikely source: animal doctors. Don't tell PETA !!! 💔 The FDA red tape is pure bureaucrat bull s*it

Coronavirus Live Updates: Tony Awards Postponed, NY Faces Ventilator ShortageThe 74th annual Tony Awards has been postponed and will be rescheduled at a later date, organizers for the event announced. Oh dear, how will we cope. Well the TV ratings for the Tony telecast will go up.

Coronavirus Live Updates: Tony Awards Postponed, NY Faces Ventilator ShortageThe 74th annual Tony Awards has been postponed and will be rescheduled at a later date, organizers for the event announced. Oh no, how will we cope. I can live without it.

New York hospitals battle coronavirus as hundreds of patients flood in: 'We must not break''We must not break': New York City hospitals battle coronavirus as hundreds of patients flood ICU, ERs Amazing u cut off president to transition to random RBC capital markets analyst Mortality rate for the Chinese virus in NY is Less than 1% Washington state is almost 6% With 15,000 infected people and doubling every 3 days...well that’s a nightmarish 30k, 60k, 120k, 240k New Yorkers with Covid 19 in just 12 days from now!!! I hope those numbers are wrong.



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