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A crisis exists, but no medical professional will let you die

 
September 20, 2021

By Mike Weland

While many vehemently dispute and do all in their power to "protect their freedoms" and so prolong the ordeal, there is a major healthcare crisis in Idaho. It is sufficient to warrant the activation of crisis standards of care protocols statewide September 16 by the Department of Health and Welfare. But in this teeming world of instant misinformation, small grains of truth get quickly stretched beyond comprehension ....... in both ways.

"The crisis in our healthcare system is being caused by the massive influx of COVID-19 patients who need hospitalization," the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare posted to it website. "This is serious; your ability to receive care in a hospital will likely be affected. It may look very different than how you have received care in the past. Surgeries are being postponed, emergency departments are full, and there may not be any beds for patients to be admitted to the hospital."

But a claim making the rounds on social media that this protocol includes a "universal do not resuscitate order" isn't quite true.

"I’ve seen that claim as well on social media," Dr. Edward Moellmer, Boundary Community Hospital, said. "I don’t know where that idea came from, but it is not true. There’s probably some misinterpreted statement that originated this belief. It seems there is usually some kernel of truth to many of these rumors that then gets twisted to fit a particular narrative.

"I can attest that patients can continue to choose 'full code' even during crisis standards of care and we will continue to honor that request to the best of our abilities. It is true that if we do put you on a ventilator or other ICU level life support, it may be challenging -- not impossible, just challenging -- to find you a bed in an ICU that can manage these treatments long term."

Crisis Standards of Care is a last resort, IDHW officials agree.

"It means that the number of patients needing care is more than the amount of resources, such as space, equipment, etc., available."

In other words, this is not a good time to swing a stick at a wasp's nest, attempt to scale Clifty on a dirt bike nor undertake any other "here, hold my beer and watch this" activity that is reasonably likely to cause injury that might require medical care.

But if you need medical care, be it trauma, heart attack, stroke or any other medically emergent crisis, go to the hospital. No matter how dire, the EMTs, doctors, nurses, CNAs and so many others giving so much in this time of pandemic will not just let you die.

Not if you go into anaphylactic shock from 1,000 wasp stings, not if you have ninth-degree road rash over 98-percent of your body, not if you chose not to get a vaccine proven to have save countless lives with nigh-miraculous efficacy.

"If you need emergency care, go to the emergency room," IDHW writes. "Do not avoid care. Hospitals will work hard to make sure you receive appropriate care. Each hospital will make patient care decisions based on the current situation at the hospital guided by the Crisis Standards of Care."

The activation of crisis standards of care does not necessarily mean hospitals will apply universal DNR.

The guidance for universal DNR is a strategy for hospitals to consider when operating under crisis standards of care and the demand for ventilators is more than the number of ventilators available.

"This guidance can be considered when resources are extremely scarce or unavailable as a way to save the most lives for patients with the best prognosis for survival, since the likelihood of survival after a cardiac arrest is low for adult patients," they write.

Universal DNR, if enacted by a hospital, would apply to all hospitalized adult patients in the event of a cardiac arrest; it would not apply to pediatric patients.

To date, no Idaho hospital has declared universal DNR; the doctors, nurses and caregivers are stretched thin and fighting valiantly, refusing to quit or give up despite those who insist herd immunity is just around the corner, that horse dewormer works and masks don't.

They are seldom thanked and too often abused, yet they stand fast.

Like a besieged battalion pinned down on the last defensive line, casualties mounting, ammunition and resources gone and no relief in sight, they refuse to quit.

"We're out of ammunition!"

"We have rocks, stand fast."

More than 91 percent of people hospitalized for COVID-19 in Idaho today are not fully vaccinated. In the Panhandle Health District, 151 of our neighbors joined the ranks of those confirmed to have been infected. Families are visiting 125 COVID 19 patient in North Idaho hospitals. Since August, four more Boundary County families have laid loved ones to rest because of COVID, bringing the death toll here to 19.

"They were old." "They'd have died anyway." "A mere 1.6-percent fatality rate!"

Worldwide, 229,031,974-million people have contracted COVID-19 and 4,699,187 of them have died since March, 2020. The United States has from the onset led the way in all the wrong statistics. In the last 28 days, nearly 4.3-million new cases, just shy of 45,000 deaths.

Since the onset of the COVID crisis in the United States, there have been 42,286,531 cases, 676,059 fatal.

Just 103 years ago, the most brilliant scientists in the world were trying to comprehend the formula "energy equals mass times the speed of light square."

A World War interrupted science and a flu epidemic radiated out from Ft. Riley, Kansas, growing to account for more corpses than killed in combat in the great war.

In March, 2020, most readers laughed at predictions that the COVID pandemic would likely be a factor not just one, but two years later.

To those clinging to the "do your own research" dichotomy are dying in droves.

Get vaccinated. Quit lying to yourself and those like you. Quit making up enemies where none exist.

Like it or not, it ain't political difference that will define Boundary County when things "get real." Nor will it be defined by those who stand firm to protect "their" rights. Sorry, kids.

When things get real ... and they will ... a group of liberals will be shoveling snow off a conservative's roof, Republicans will be calling on Democrats to coordinate efforts to save Bob , and church groups will throw in together to do what must be done. All  the typical appellations will disappear, and for a brief moment in time, we will be neighbors!

Questions or Comments? Send us an email!

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9B.News
Mike Weland, Publisher
mike@9b.news  

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