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Critical Care Triage – what you need to know

As the Coronavirus pandemic has developed, there’s been increasing publicity about the hard choices medical professionals may have to make if demand exceeds supply, specifically around the allocation of scarce resources like Intensive Care or Critical Care beds and access to ventilators.

If the number of sick people (disabled or not) being admitted to hospital is greater than the number of Intensive Care or Critical Care beds and ventilators available, a decision must be made about who gets the potentially life-saving care, and who doesn’t. Those that do will be treated in an Intensive Care or Critical Care Unit, and those who don’t will be treated (or receive end-of-life care) on a Ward.

‘Critical Care Triage’ is the process that NHS doctors may have to undertake to decide what care Coronavirus patients get. This carries with it considerable ethical and practical implications.

SCI people, their families and carers need to know about the triage process, so they can be as prepared as possible if they become ill with Coronavirus and need to be admitted to hospital.

In response to this, SIA has produced a briefing to the background, details and implications of Critical Care Triage, when the demand from patients for Intensive Care support becomes greater than the available resources, and the actions SCI people can take to be prepared for this.

Please read the full brief here. In the meantime, if you have any questions or concerns relating to your SCI and/or Coronavirus, call SIA’s Support Line on 0800 980 0501.

To prepare for a possible emergency admission to hospital our SCI Nurse Specialists can complete a care plan with you.  To speak to one of the nurses contact us via our Support Line or fill in this form to be referred to the service. You can also watch our YouTube video  to learn more about care plans from Carol, one of our SCI Nurse Specialists.