The COVID 19 pandemic has led to an increase in the number of patients in need of ventilation. Limitations in the number of respirators may cause an ethical problem for the medical and nursing staff in deciding who should be connected to the available respirators. We conducted a cross-sectional survey among a convenience sample of 278 healthcare professionals at one medical center. They were asked to rank their preference in respirator allocation to three COVID-19 patients, one 80 years old with no cognitive illness, one 50 years old with Alzheimer's disease (AD), and one 80 years old with AD. Most respondents (75%) chose the 80-year-old AD patient as last preference, but were evenly divided on how to rank the other two patients. Medical staff have difficulty deciding whether age or cognitive status should be the deciding factor ventilator allocation. Determination of a set policy would help professionals with these decisions.
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
- Alzheimer's disease (AD)
- COVID 19 pandemic
- Hospital staff
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