Jan 6, 2021
Care during a Public Health Emergency
Since Thanksgiving, we have seen a tragic surge in COVID-19 patients. More than ever before, very ill patients are coming into our hospital. We are working hard to meet the demand for hospital beds, equipment and skilled health care professionals; however, medical care choices will become limited as medical resources become limited. At this time, we feel it imperative to make you aware of the approach we may have to take to ethically and compassionately use these scarce medical resources in the event of a further surge. These guidelines have not yet been activated, and we are doing everything in our power to avoid this extreme measure.
At Dameron Hospital and Adventist Health, our mission is to live God’s love by inspiring health, wholeness and hope. Expert, equitable, compassionate care for our community is our moral responsibility. Our physician and hospital leaders have carefully planned crisis care guidelines, informed by ethical principles that also align with the California Department of Public Health Crisis Care Guidelines. Our approach was developed by the Adventist Health Bioethics Committee and is based on national best ethical practice. It outlines fair and objective criteria to help guide clinical decision making in a way that will help meet our patients’ needs while saving as many lives as possible during a public health emergency. To ensure equity and justice, a triage team will base decisions on patients’ health status and will not see patients’ personal identification, such as name, gender, ethnicity, religion or age, in the process of making decisions.
Our greatest immediate hope in this hard-fought battle against COVID-19 is for our community members to heed the advice of our physicians and trusted public health leaders: avoid large gatherings, maintain physical distancing and wear masks. Thank you for doing your part to protect the lives of your family, friends and community.