A document from the Karolinska University Hospital in Stockholm has revealed that Wuhan coronavirus patients over 80 and those over 60 with multiple organ failure will not be given priority for intensive care.
The document confirms prior reports that Swedish authorities were looking to prioritise certain groups of people for intensive care who are more likely to survive severe cases of the Chinese virus if or when hospital capacities are overwhelmed.
Along with patients over the age of 80, those 60 to 70 who have multiple organ failures will also be moved out of intensive care. The document states that any patients in those categories that experience organ failure while in an ICU could also be taken out of intensive care, as well, Aftonbladet reports.
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The concept of “biological age”, which can be assessed as either higher or lower than a patient’s chronological age, is also mentioned in the document as a potential guideline. But a doctor who spoke to the newspaper stated it was difficult for medical practitioners to use the concept in practice.
“It is not chronological age but biological age that applies in assessing patients for intensive care. The medical priority is always based on the patient’s prognosis to cope with intensive care and to recover,” a spokesman from the Karolinska University Hospital told the paper.
In late March, Dr Thomas Lindén, of the National Board of Health and Welfare, said that hospitals could give priority to illegal migrants over elderly Swedes infected with coronavirus, saying that nationality was not an essential factor.
“The principles of prioritisation say that we should prioritise on the basis of medical needs and that all people have equal value. It means for someone who works in the healthcare industry that it is the people you have ahead of you, then you should not think about legal status, citizenship or so, but it is the medical need that should govern,” he said.
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