In response to an increase in Coronavirus hospitalizations, Idaho health officials have instituted a statewide health care rationing policy. The largest hospital system in Idaho, St. Luke’s Health System, requested that the state allow “crisis standards of care” due to the increasing numbers of COVID 19 patients exhausting the state’s medical resources, according to the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare. Only about 40% of Idahoans are adequately vaccinated against COVID 19, making it one of the less vaccinated states in the U.S. West Virginia and Wyoming are the only states where vaccination rates are lower.
While COVID Surges In Idaho, Health Care Continues To Be Rationed
According to crisis care standards, patients with the greatest need for resources, including ICU beds, have the greatest chance of survival. There will also be times when less effective methods are used or, in dire situations, pain relief and other palliative measures are employed.
As a result of this move, hospital rationing in Idaho’s northern regions has now been allowed for a week. According to the Idaho Department of Welfare Director Dave Jeppesen, the situation is critical – there are not enough resources to treat patients in Idaho’s hospitals, whether they suffer from a heart attack, COVID 19, or have been in a car accident.
The elderly should have their vaccinations tested and wear masks when they are outside in crowded areas. It is essential that hospitals and healthcare systems receive our support. To end the crisis in health care standards, more people need to get vaccinated, he added. Getting sick from COVID 19 will greatly decrease the likelihood of having to be hospitalized, Jeppesen said.
In the week ending April 11, about one in 201 Idahoans tested positive for COVID 19, according to Johns Hopkins University data. Among states with mostly rural populations, North Dakota ranks 12th in new cases per capita. According to the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare, more than 1,300 new Coronavirus cases have been reported in Idaho since Wednesday. Hospitalizations have risen dramatically. The latest Tennessee data available shows that 678 people were hospitalized across the state due to Coronavirus on Sept. 13.
According to the latest COVID 19 data, on average 70 patients have been admitted to an intensive care unit each day for the past two weeks – suggesting the state may have reached its capacity for treating ICU patients as of now. Some hospitals might not need to ration health care resources as needed, even though all of the state’s hospitals can now do so. Public health officials said hospitals will have the option of implementing the crisis standards of care in their own hospitals.
The first hospital in the state to officially enter crisis standards of care last week was Kootenai Health in Coeur d’Alene. A conference center that had been converted into a field hospital was being used as a hospital for some patients, according to the chief of staff Dr. Robert Scoggins. Other patients were treated in lobbies or hallways converted from emergency rooms. There are a number of urgent and elective surgeries on hold in much of the state.
In St. Luke’s hospitals on Wednesday, almost 92% of patients had not yet received the COVID 19 vaccine. There were 78 intensive care unit patients at the hospital, and 60 of them had COVID 19. The Idaho Department of Public Health has been warning residents for weeks to take extra precautions to avoid hospitalization. According to Jeppesen, residents should take their medications according to prescription, wear seatbelts in traffic, and consider whether to participate in activities such as cycling that could cause injury.
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