Amid the rise in Coronavirus cases, Alaska has decided to activate its protocols for emergency crises, which will allow twenty health care centers to ration care if need be.
Amid Spike In Covid 19, Alaska Has Decided To Allow Hospitals To Ration Care
On Saturday, 2nd October 2021, Alaska made a decision to activate its emergency medical protocols that will entitle twenty health care facilities to ration care, if the need arises.
This decision was taken after the state recorded the country’s worst-ever Coronavirus infections rate in recent times, which has put the nation’s limited medical care facilities under immense pressure.
The said declaration will cover three medical care centers that had already announced protocols for emergency crises. One of these centers includes the largest medical center of the state, Providence Alaska Medical Center in Anchorage, Alaska’s largest city, besides the other two medical centers in Anchorage as well as other medical facilities throughout the country’s largest, but sparingly populated state.
In the statement that announced this activation of emergency medical protocols, the health department said that this decision acknowledges that Alaska’s health care system is interdependent and interconnected and that it requires the activation of the decision-making framework of the state, which includes the development of contingency, conventional as well as catastrophe standards.
In a statement released, the state’s health commissioner, Adam Crum stressed that the health care facilities in Alaska are wide open and very much capable of caring for patients. He insisted that all Alaskans who are in need of medical care should not postpone seeking it, even during these hard times amidst the ongoing pandemic.
Some of the factors that pushed the government to activate the emergency medical crises protocols include limited hospital staff at some facilities, shortage of medical resources at some facilities and challenges in shifting patients owing to limited availability of hospital beds. The shortage of oxygen supply and limited renal replacement therapy are other factors that contributed to the state’s decision.
From 22nd September 2021 to 29th September 2021, one in every eighty-four people in Alaska has been diagnosed with COVID 19, as per the data generated by The Johns Hopkins University Center for Systems Science and Engineering. The next worst rate of COVID 19 infections was recorded in West Virginia, where one in every 164 people were infected.
One of the medical care facilities included in the state’s declaration, Fairbanks Memorial Hospital announced the activation of its own emergency crises protocol owing to a shortage of hospital staff, hospital beds, incapacity to transfer patients as well as a dearth of monoclonal antibody treatments.
In a statement released by the press, Dr. Angelique Ramirez, Fairbanks’s Chief Medical Officer said that this move to shift to emergency Crisis Standards of Care is not to be taken lightly and that the decision has come in response to a very serious spike in Coronavirus infections in the community.
From March 2020, out of the total population of 731,000, about 110,850 cases have been recorded in Alaska so far. Out of these, over 24,000 new cases have been reported in September 2021 itself during the delta variant wave.
The state health department announced that a total of 2,432 people are hospitalized and 557 patients have died. 60% of the state’s eligible population is fully vaccinated. Dr. Angelique Ramirez stressed that one of the factors contributing to this crisis is the low vaccination rates.
Director of the state Division of Public Health, Heidi Hedberg also encouraged all the citizens to wear a mask and get themselves vaccinated, not just to protect themselves, but also their families, the community as well as Alaska’s health care system.
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