Alaska now joins Idaho in establishing crisis standards of care as its largest hospital is now prioritizing treatment to patients most likely to survive COVID-19 infections.
“While we are doing our utmost, we are no longer able to provide the standard of care to each and every patient who needs our help,” Kristen Solana Walkinshaw, MD, chief of staff at Providence Alaska Medical Center in Anchorage, wrote in a letter addressed to Alaskans and published yesterday.
“We have been forced within our hospital to implement crisis standards of care,” Walkinshaw said. “We have been required to develop and enact policies and procedure to ration medical care and treatments, including dialysis and specialized ventilatory support.”
According to the Associated Press, at Providence, more than 30% of the adult patients who are hospitalized have tested positive. Statewide, 202 patients are hospitalized for COVID-19, including 33 on ventilators.
Last week, Idaho announced similar measures in the northern part of the state after it faced a deluge of COVID-19 cases due to the Delta (B1617.2) variant. Now, some hospitals in southern Idaho announced they will also be rationing care. Idaho has one of the lowest COVID-19 vaccination rates in the country.