The relentless surge of Covid-19 patients has strained resources and health care workers at Los Angeles hospitals -- to the point that officials are preparing to ration care with triage officers, who will decide which patients receive what treatment.
Once a hospital reaches a phase called "crisis care mode," triage officers at the county's four public hospitals will be tasked with deciding how to allocate and reallocate scarce resources like ventilators for critically ill patients with a focus of "doing the most good for the most people," according to new guidelines issued by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.
"Decisions of allocation will be to decide which patients get which resource, and in some circumstances, may involve decisions to take scarce resources from one patient and give them to another who is more likely to benefit from them," the guidelines said.
The new guidelines were first reported by the Los Angeles Times.
Rising numbers: The extraordinary move comes as Los Angeles County hospitals treat more than 8,000 Covid-19 patients, a growing number that has shown no sign of slowing down as the region continues to report thousands of new cases each day. On Friday, just 54 adult ICU beds were available in the county of 10 million residents.