What are 'Crisis Standards of Care?'


As the spread of the delta variant continues unabated in much of the U.S., public health leaders have approved health care rationing in Idaho and parts of Alaska and Montana. Several more states are veering dangerously close to reaching "crisis standards of care" with less than 10% of intensive care unit beds available. The move to ration healthcare comes amid a spike in the number of unvaccinated COVID-19 patients requiring hospitalization. Crisis standards of care allow health care providers to give scarce resources, like ventilators, to the patients most likely to survive. But those tasked with determining who gets what, is in a decidedly unenviable position.