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Flu Nightmare: In Severe Pandemic, Officials Ponder Disconnecting Ventilators From Some Patients
Pro Publica ^ | September 23, 2009 | Sheri Fink

Posted on 09/23/2009 7:06:56 PM PDT by Dementio

With scant public input, state and federal officials are pushing ahead with plans that -- during a severe flu outbreak -- would deny use of scarce ventilators by some patients to assure they would be available for patients judged to benefit the most from them.

The plans have been drawn up to give doctors specific guidelines for extreme circumstances, and they include procedures under which patients who weren’t improving would be removed from life support with or without permission of their families.

The plans are designed to go into effect if the U.S. were struck by a severe flu pandemic comparable to the 1918 outbreak that killed an estimated 50 million people worldwide. State and federal health officials have concluded that such a pandemic would sicken far more people needing ventilators than could be treated by the available supplies.

(Excerpt) Read more at propublica.org ...


TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: flu; news; outbreak; pandemic; publichealth
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Unbelievable.
1 posted on 09/23/2009 7:06:56 PM PDT by Dementio
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To: Dementio

“C’mon Granny, just TRY to breathe on your own. You can do it!”/extreme sarcasm off


2 posted on 09/23/2009 7:11:11 PM PDT by Frank_2001
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To: Dementio
The time is coming when these jerks will find themselves facing down a rope and an angry mob.

LLS

3 posted on 09/23/2009 7:11:20 PM PDT by LibLieSlayer (hussama will never be my president... NEVER!)
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To: Dementio

This is right up Dr. Zeke’s alley.....scarce resource???

Babies and Old People hit the skids first....


4 posted on 09/23/2009 7:13:26 PM PDT by RummyChick
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To: Dementio
Anyone who hasn't figured out that this whole flu thing is a control mechanism generated by our leftist federal government is a fool.

It is either a trial balloon to see how far they can push us, or an outright attack on freedom of assembly and movement.

We will see.

5 posted on 09/23/2009 7:14:14 PM PDT by elkfersupper (Member of the Original Defiant Class)
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To: Dementio

As harsh as this article may sound the practice makes sense. And while it has the potential for abuse, I think the possibility of poor decision making by impassioned family members is much more likely.


6 posted on 09/23/2009 7:16:46 PM PDT by 70times7 (Serving Free Republics' warped and obscure humor needs since 1999!)
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To: RummyChick

Babies and Old People hit the skids first....
_______________________________________________________

That’s right. They AREN’T the ‘worker bees’ in the hive for ‘the collective’.


7 posted on 09/23/2009 7:17:39 PM PDT by RushIsMyTeddyBear (http://www.muckety.com/7BECFF40501E647D3741343C37265A57.map)
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To: elkfersupper

What began under George Bush as a way to prepare serepticiously for a coming biological attack from terrorists has burgeoned into a means for the fascist Obamasquad to arrange for martial law. With men like Cass Sunstein, John Holdren, and Ezekiel Emanuel advising the affirmative action bastard, is it surprising that the solution to the social security disaster is to not have that many reaching retirement to pay out to?


8 posted on 09/23/2009 7:18:38 PM PDT by MHGinTN (Dems, believing they cannot be deceived, it is impossible to convince them when they are deceived.)
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To: Dementio
Buy your own ventilators now folks!

I wonder what criteria were used during polio epidemics when they rationed those old "iron lung" machines. They must have had some guidelines.

I also wonder what would happen to private insurance companies if a really bad flu epidemic hit the US. Would some insurance companies just declare bankruptcy and disappear in the night, the way some insurance companies do after earthquakes or hurricanes? Or would the government pick up the tab for preventing and treating the flu since it's a communicable disease?

9 posted on 09/23/2009 7:21:27 PM PDT by kittykat77
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To: Dementio

You have to plan for overwhelming emergencies.

There could be a situation where there are more people who need ventilators than there are machines, in any particular hospital.

What bugs me is that the government wants to make the rules. I’d prefer to leave it to the doctors—with the courts following up if they behave with clear injustice.


10 posted on 09/23/2009 7:21:27 PM PDT by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
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To: 70times7

And please, before I get flamed by those who would equivocate the preplanning described in this article with the death panels brought about by Obamacare - there is a huge difference between withholding medical care that would have been available if the government left health care alone, and a shortage of equipment due to a pandemic.


11 posted on 09/23/2009 7:21:45 PM PDT by 70times7 (Serving Free Republics' warped and obscure humor needs since 1999!)
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To: Dementio
These articles are jokes...compare today with anti-biotic and sulfa drugs to a 1918 outbreak....give me a break...lets scare everyone....People die if the flu and complications of it every year.....

Headlines in the newspaper "WE ARE ALL GOING TO DIE......) someday..

12 posted on 09/23/2009 7:22:09 PM PDT by goat granny
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To: Dementio

“Flu Nightmare: In Severe Pandemic, Officials Ponder Disconnecting Ventilators From Some Patients”

In severe fascism, citizens ponder ventilating politicians and bureaucrats...


13 posted on 09/23/2009 7:22:42 PM PDT by sergeantdave (obuma is the anti-Lincoln, trying to re-establish slavery)
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To: RushIsMyTeddyBear
Babies and Old People hit the skids first....

That’s right. They AREN’T the ‘worker bees’ in the hive for ‘the collective’.

That's how it works. If you have five ventilators and ten people who will die without ventilators, five people are going to die. Who deserves a ventilator? Grandma? A baby? A young adult female? A young adult male?

Ugly decisions sometimes have to be made.

14 posted on 09/23/2009 7:23:10 PM PDT by Drew68
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To: elkfersupper

How far or how fast?


15 posted on 09/23/2009 7:24:05 PM PDT by Old Professer (The critic writes with rapier pen, dips it twice, then writes again.)
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To: Drew68

Coin toss.


16 posted on 09/23/2009 7:25:59 PM PDT by Old Professer (The critic writes with rapier pen, dips it twice, then writes again.)
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To: Dementio

Well, how very OBAMA of them!


17 posted on 09/23/2009 7:26:46 PM PDT by airborne (Don't let history record that, when faced with evil, you did nothing!)
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To: 70times7
As harsh as this article may sound the practice makes sense

No other alternative. My guess is ECMO machines will be rationed first. Not as many of them, much more labor intensive to use and in the Southern Hemisphere, some patients were put on those almost immediately because their lungs were so full of snot mechanical ventilation would have caused their chests to explode.

18 posted on 09/23/2009 7:27:09 PM PDT by Brugmansian
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To: 70times7

Exactly. What else are they supposed to do? Jack up the cost of medical care by buying millions of extra ventilators that will probably never be needed? Obviously, in a major pandemic, lots of people are going to die, and it makes sense to prioritize saving the ones who actually have a chance of getting out bed and doing something with their lives.


19 posted on 09/23/2009 7:27:41 PM PDT by GovernmentShrinker
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To: Dementio
"Officials calculated that 18,000 additional New Yorkers would require ventilators in the peak week of a flu outbreak as deadly as the 1918 pandemic. Only a thousand machines would be available, the officials estimated. The state’s acute care hospitals in 2005 had about 6000 ventilators, 85% of which were normally in use."

Here's the problem. We have managed care, down to where there is no excess capacity in the system. New York only has enough ventilators to handle a 17% (15%/85%) increase over normal. Certainly not a pandemic.

I think the rationing plan is necessary. But the public would be better served by a plan to obtain and store excess ventilators and/or a plan to ramp production of ventilators. I see a new respiratory ventilator on Froogle for $2000.

Solution 1:Buy another 5000 machines for a cost of $10,000,000 and put them in storage. Then you would at least have a reasonable hedge.

Solution 2: For a cost of 17,000*$2,000= $34,000,000 you'd have all 18,000 machines available. It's probably not reasonable given the probable availability of vaccines.

Solution 3: Work with the manufacturer to develop plans for rapid ramping of production of the machines and/or possible cheaper stop-gap models.

The cost is probably neglible compared the lost taxes if those people die.

20 posted on 09/23/2009 7:28:29 PM PDT by DannyTN
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To: Drew68

Yes, we’ve “progressed” to the point where we can delay death. Ultimately we will all succumb.

However, the decision should not lie with “officials” who can choose based on thier own criteria. It should be left to the individuals and their families with the advice of a caring physician.

That’s what they want to take from us.


21 posted on 09/23/2009 7:29:35 PM PDT by plsjr (<>< ... reality always gets the last vote.)
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To: goat granny
These articles are jokes...compare today with anti-biotic and sulfa drugs to a 1918 outbreak....give me a break...lets scare everyone....People die if the flu and complications of it every year.....

Thank you for the sanity break. Everyone needs to take a freeking valium, and stop buying into the blatant media incitement of trying to imagine the scariest worst-case possibilities of everything.

Unless, of course, you want to image a city on fire, without water, and you're trapped in a high-rise building there when an earthquake hits, and as the building is swaying you see a television helicopter outside the window, but before you can be on camera you run to the restroom to brush your teeth, and there are three other people in there BUT THERE ARE ONLY TWO TOOTHBRUSHES!!!!

So I aks ya, WHO gets denied?!! Huh????!!! WHO??????!!!!!!

22 posted on 09/23/2009 7:31:06 PM PDT by Talisker (When you find a turtle on top of a fence post, you can be damn sure it didn't get there on it's own.)
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To: goat granny
Unfortunately, antibiotics & sulfa drugs are ineffective against viruses, such as H1N1.
23 posted on 09/23/2009 7:35:20 PM PDT by USFRIENDINVICTORIA
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To: LibLieSlayer
Careful there...

Not Good: http://http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2346771/posts http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2346771/posts

24 posted on 09/23/2009 7:36:54 PM PDT by Cyber Ninja (His legacy is a stain OnTheDress)
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To: goat granny

I have been reading posts her for many years and look at the screen name at the end and say yep that is that posters usual response.

I have just come across your posts here in the last few months maybe more and can say yep thats exactly how I would respond.

Thanks saves me from typing more than I care too at times.


25 posted on 09/23/2009 7:38:36 PM PDT by Global2010 (Strange We Can Believe In)
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To: Dementio

How many ventilator patients can your local hospital sustain? One poor Brit teen in Greece I read about has been on life support for months.

death panels


26 posted on 09/23/2009 7:47:01 PM PDT by silverleaf (If we are astroturf, why are the democrats trying to mow us?)
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To: Dementio
Death Care....just a moment away.
27 posted on 09/23/2009 7:47:12 PM PDT by Candor7 (The effective weapons against Fascism are ridicule, derision, and truth (Member NRA)
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To: kittykat77

The population of the U.S. is enormous compared to what it was during the polio scare years. Rationing just doesn’t mean then what it will mean NOW. Plus with all the illegals here now....


28 posted on 09/23/2009 7:50:56 PM PDT by Paved Paradise
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To: GovernmentShrinker

It may make sense to buy some additional ventilators, but as you have mentioned money is limited. Buying enough of them to deal with what may happen takes money away from what is happening.


29 posted on 09/23/2009 7:53:13 PM PDT by 70times7 (Serving Free Republics' warped and obscure humor needs since 1999!)
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To: Global2010

Big Brother Zero is trying to get us used to the idea of pulling the plug on Granny. No doubt about it. Putting out scenarios where a choice would be necessary. Just like abortion in the sixties: “back alley abortions, 16 year olds dying” “girls having to cross state lines to get an abortion” etc. Worked then. Or Saturday Night Specials, which wound up banning a number of inexpensive well made pistols.


30 posted on 09/23/2009 7:54:45 PM PDT by TStro
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To: 70times7

It would be outright MURDER that’s what it would be.


31 posted on 09/23/2009 7:56:10 PM PDT by MissDairyGoodnessVT ("I never knew there were Martians in my garden...." J.Edgar Hoover,Fmr. Director, F.B.I.)
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To: USFRIENDINVICTORIA

OH MY GOD WE ARE ALL GOING TO DIE AGAIN....LOL chill out.


32 posted on 09/23/2009 7:57:58 PM PDT by goat granny
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To: Dementio

Congressmen, senators and those who donated to Obama go to the head of the line.


33 posted on 09/23/2009 7:59:13 PM PDT by ladyjane
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To: Drew68
Who deserves a ventilator? Grandma? A baby? A young adult female? A young adult male? Ugly decisions sometimes have to be made.

yes - kinda like the decision to abort or not abort - like the mother that was pregnant with, I think 4th child. The father had congenital heart disease, the mother tuberculosis, and the first 3 children all have serious medical problems.

What are the odds that this child will also be sickly, using up valuable medical care?

So chose: 1: abort

2: don't

For those that chose abort - Congratulations.

You just killed Beethoven.

i.e., you may chose the the young adult female/male - who never contribute anything of worth to society - may even be a negative. You may chose death for an elderly person who still has a lot to contribute - or a toddler who would have grown up to contribute something of great worth.

To empiracally chose death because of age is ignorance run amok.

But there's an over abundance of that these days.

In the meantime, perhaps you should arrange not to grow too old - and/or,never get sick.

34 posted on 09/23/2009 8:02:53 PM PDT by maine-iac7 ("He has the right to criticize who has the heart to help" LINCOLN)
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To: maine-iac7
yes - kinda like the decision to abort or not abort -

Not at all. You have 10 people who need ventilators and five ventilators. Five people will die. Who?

It's not making a choice to abort. It is making a choice that so one person can live, someone else cannot.

35 posted on 09/23/2009 8:09:52 PM PDT by Drew68
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To: Dementio

Do the senior citizens who voted for Obama know this?


36 posted on 09/23/2009 8:10:07 PM PDT by Ballygrl
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To: Dementio
Not really. It would be criminal to let people with the flu into the hospital building. They will need to be treated off site and seen in their cars.
37 posted on 09/23/2009 8:16:41 PM PDT by Domangart (editor and publisher)
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To: Cicero

The fed already makes the rules. To stay open they must pass inspections. Who do you think the inspectors are?


38 posted on 09/23/2009 8:21:16 PM PDT by Domangart (editor and publisher)
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To: MissDairyGoodnessVT
It would be outright MURDER that’s what it would be.

How would you treat them? You don't have enough ventilators for everyone who needs them.

Medical ethicists debate this scenario all the time.

39 posted on 09/23/2009 8:22:08 PM PDT by Drew68
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To: Dementio

Now Mrs. Brown, how did your husband vote in the last election? Did your family make the right campaign donations? We’ll make our decision after we have read through all of your husband’s e-mails, blogs and social networking sites as well as telephone records and text messages.


40 posted on 09/23/2009 8:22:49 PM PDT by Truth is a Weapon (Truth, it hurts soooo good!)
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To: Paved Paradise
I lived through the Polio years before the Salk vaccine...My kids got the vaccine...Salk used a dead virus and it was effective, then Sabin came out with a vaccine that was a live virus...The doctors quit using Salk even tho there was no evidence that using the live virus was any more effective than the original...If I remember correctly it went from a couple of drops on the kids tongue to having to have the injection...I guess one of the pharmaceuticals gave more money to get their vaccine used...I didn't think of payoffs at the time (late 1950 to 1960’s) but it was probably going on at that time also.

To me it seemed like immunity from a dead virus was safer than immunity from a live virus.

To my parents, polio season was very real and I remember asking my mother to be able to do something (cannot remember what) but she said "NO its polio season". It wasn't a scare** polio was deadly and if you survived many had to live in an iron lung for the rest of their lives...also those children that survived without needing an iron lung ended up crippled...

41 posted on 09/23/2009 8:22:52 PM PDT by goat granny
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To: Drew68

look what happened w/Katrina


42 posted on 09/23/2009 8:25:09 PM PDT by MissDairyGoodnessVT ("I never knew there were Martians in my garden...." J.Edgar Hoover,Fmr. Director, F.B.I.)
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To: MissDairyGoodnessVT
look what happened w/Katrina

Yep. And in a flu pandemic the same would happen. Too many people need too few resources. People will die. Who?

For the record, I'm not betting the farm on a flu pandemic. It seems like we have "flu pandemic scare" every year. And every year people die from the flu. Life goes on for the rest of us.

43 posted on 09/23/2009 8:28:43 PM PDT by Drew68
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To: plsjr
However, the decision should not lie with “officials” who can choose based on thier own criteria. It should be left to the individuals and their families with the advice of a caring physician.

10 families and their physicians agree, they want to put the patient on a ventilator. There are 5 ventilators. What's your solution?

44 posted on 09/23/2009 8:33:27 PM PDT by Prokopton
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To: Talisker
I don't need a valium, thanks, and I'm not getting worked up over it. The media is not imagining the worst case, they are doing the usual - hyping in order to sell. Can you say west nile virus?

In this case people who have a responsibility to plan for the worst case in order to be prepared were reported on by the media. The planners did what they are supposed to do; they planned. The reporters did what they are supposed to; they reported. And I did what I was supposed to do; I considered the situation and said to myself; "sounds like they have that part under control."

I also repressed the urge to set the caps lock and hold down punctuation keys.

45 posted on 09/23/2009 8:33:56 PM PDT by 70times7 (Serving Free Republics' warped and obscure humor needs since 1999!)
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To: MissDairyGoodnessVT

Please be more specific. What do you think would be murder?


46 posted on 09/23/2009 8:37:41 PM PDT by 70times7 (Serving Free Republics' warped and obscure humor needs since 1999!)
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To: DannyTN
Solution 1:Buy another 5000 machines for a cost of $10,000,000 and put them in storage. Then you would at least have a reasonable hedge.

Doesn't it seem silly for us to argue this after our government has just spent hundreds of billions of dollars on nothing that will benefit the American people? Think of all the good that money could have done, although I was against stealing it from us in the first place.

47 posted on 09/23/2009 8:37:50 PM PDT by Prokopton
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To: MHGinTN

“With men like Cass Sunstein, John Holdren, and Ezekiel Emanuel advising the affirmative action bastard, is it surprising that the solution to the social security disaster is to not have that many reaching retirement to pay out to?”

I love the fact that now that the baby boomer generation, the very generation that spawned this disaster of a presidency, has come into the twilight of their years, they will be the beneficiaries of this “noble” move. They are the ones who voted for him, let them reap the whirlwind.

Do you think they’ll object?


48 posted on 09/23/2009 8:38:05 PM PDT by Daniel II (I'm Jim Thompson, this is my brother Jimmy, and this is my other brother Jimmy)
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To: Drew68

Here is a little help, I don’t want to be on any damn ventilator...its already written in my will...chalk off this granny....you can have my ventilator...


49 posted on 09/23/2009 8:42:08 PM PDT by goat granny
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To: 70times7
The media is not imagining the worst case, they are doing the usual - hyping in order to sell.

Uh, imagining the worst case IS how they hype it in order to sell. And why should a flu need to be "sold"? To "protect" people? How? By convincing them to get vaccinated? Is that all? Or is it to convince them to go along with mandatory vaccination even though, as well as the specific legislation that completely indemnifies the vaccine makers for any deaths over a vaccine that contains known poisonous materials prepared with grossly inadequate human testing?

Yeah, I guess it WOULD take a lot of media hype, as well as calm, cool people saying "no problem, move along," to try to force the country into that level of suicide.

50 posted on 09/23/2009 8:47:26 PM PDT by Talisker (When you find a turtle on top of a fence post, you can be damn sure it didn't get there on it's own.)
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