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Ethical dilemmas in Emergency Medicine

Ethical dilemmas in Emergency Medicine

When we talk about triage, we could mean several things. We might mean the triage of patients arriving in the ED to assign clinical priority (because not everyone can be seen instantly); we might mean the triage of patients in a major incident or battlefield scenario; or we could mean the triage of patients to an appropriate level of care within the hospital. (E.g. Critical care or a general ward). All of these types of triage suggest that our resources aren’t adequate to meet demands at any particular moment in time. This means that ‘triage’ is similar to ‘rationing’. Perhaps the key difference is that ‘triage’ implies the shortage is only temporary – and that we’ll sort it out given a bit of time – whereas rationing suggests that we just don’t have the resources – full stop. In this post we’re just going to talk about the triage of patients arriving in the ED, to decide how urgently they need to be seen.

CriticalCare.news
January 8, 2019

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