It’s awful that this is happening in America but hospitals in hotspots around the country are about to wade into dangerous waters. The balance of preserving life, protecting themselves, and preventing the spread of infection.
Hospitals claim they are considering this because of the risk to staff, they are short on supplies, and that the danger is too great when a patient “codes,” or they stop breathing.
Northwestern Memorial Hospital In Chicago is driving the discussion for a do-not-resuscitate policy for Wuhan virus patients regardless of what their loved ones or the patient want.
As of the writing of this post, the United States has 69,684 cases and 1,049 deaths. In comparison, Italy has 74,386 cases and 7,503 deaths. According to the CDC during the 2019-2020 flu season 231,654 people inside the USA have contracted the flu resulting in an estimated 23,000 deaths around a 10% death rate. The global percentage of deaths as a result of the coronavirus is 4.5%. So far the death rate as a result of the coronavirus inside the United States is at 1.5%
Multiple news agencies including MSN News report:
Amid the coronavirus outbreak, hospitals in the United States are considering do-not-resuscitate orders for all the patients infected with COVID-19. The hospitals are citing that their staff is at high risk of getting exposed to the deadly virus as there is a low supply of protective equipment like masks and gloves.
The policy refers to doctors telling health care providers to not perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) to restore the work of the heart and lungs when the patient stops breathing.
One such hospital is Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago. The hospital is considering the policy for patients.
“It’s a major concern for everyone. This is something about which we have had lots of communication with families, and I think they are very aware of the grave circumstances,” Richard Wunderink, one of Northwestern’s intensive-care medical directors, told the Washington Post, adding that the hospital administrators will speak to Illinois Governor. J.B. Pritzker and ask him to clarify if state law would allow the changes in policy.
Several large hospital systems – Atrium Health in the Carolinas, Geisinger in Pennsylvania and regional Kaiser Permanente networks – are looking into the ability for doctors to override the wishes of the coronavirus patient or family members to protect doctors.
Written by March 26, 2020–