Details of the Request
I would like to see any triage protocols for ICU (which specified who would be admitted and who would be denied care) that were in use between March 2020 and to date.
Details of the Response
ASPH Intensive Care Unit has never used a ‘triage protocol’ to determine whether or not a patient will be admitted to the Intensive Care Unit. All patients are assessed on an individual basis, and admitted to ITU based on their clinical need and potential to benefit from the invasive organ support therapies that ITU provides. All ITU admission decisions made since March 2020 have been as per our usual clinical and professional practice, with at least 2 Intensive Care Consultants involved in every decision. ASPH ITU increased its bed capacity from our baseline of 13 beds to 26 beds in March 2020, and from 13 to 31 beds in January 2021, to ensure that every patient who needed an ITU bed would receive one. This included receiving more than 20 patients from other hospitals whose ITU’s were full.
The Intensive Care Society published guidance in May 2020 on the use of a “Covid-19 Decision Aid Tool”, sometimes referred to as a ‘triage protocol’. This was only to be considered at CRITCON PANDEMIC LEVEL 4, which can only be declared by the NHS England Regional Medical Director. ASPH has not entered CRITCON PANDEMIC LEVEL 4 at any time.