The Alberta Medical Association’s chief of emergency medicine says the major components of triage have already begun in Alberta.
Dr. Paul Parks says that in recent days some seriously ill COVID-19 patients who should be using ventilators are not receiving them.
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He says that is in addition to previously announced massive surgery cancellations, along with patient transfers as doctors balance medical need with available space.
Parks says it’s not at the point where doctors must make life-and-death decisions on the spot.
But he says that’s not too far off, and when it does come, the second stage of triage will follow quickly, including making those same decisions about children.
What is the triage protocol like in Alberta?
Parks says Alberta Health Services is doing its best, but says the government has not led by imposing lax sanitary restrictions and allowing mass gatherings, including at schools and sporting events.
Alberta is seeing more than 1,000 new COVID-19 cases a day.
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Parks says there must be an immediate response, including mandatory mask mandates everywhere and school closings and mass gatherings.
Alberta Health Services Director Dr. Verna Yiu said this week that a key reason intensive care wards have not been overwhelmed is because enough COVID-19 patients are dying to free up bed space. .
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