Why Idaho Crisis Standards of Care Are Back
As predicted recently, Idaho Crisis Standards of Care have returned to some health districts. The announcement was made after medical professionals detailed that the Omicron variant is spreading too fast to treat their patients adequately.
KTVB reports the health districts are Southwest District Health, Central District Health, and South Central District Health. (To see if your county is one of those under the Crisis Standards of Care, click here.) The hospitals attribute the move back to the standard due to staff shortages, a lack of blood supply, and the Omicron variant's speed is spreading. As we've seen in every industry, more folks have been infected faster with Omicron than the two previous variants, Delta and Covid 19.
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The Idaho Crisis Standards of care means that a hospital can deny you proper medical attention if they lack the staff, facility, or room to treat you. The legislature voted on the move to allow hospitals to continue operations during another wave of the pandemic. The Idaho Crisis Standards of Care return is a tale of conflicting narratives.
On the one hand, you have public health officials clamoring for mask-wearing, vaccinations, and limited public gatherings. On the other hand, you have Idahoans who want to be free and attend significant events like the recent Tool Concert at the Ford Idaho Center in Nampa.
The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare announced a media release. In the release, IDHW shared the reasons to return to the Crisis Standards of Care:
"The process to initiate crisis standards of care began when resources were limited to the point of affecting medical care. DHW Director Jeppesen convened the Crisis Standards of Care Activation Advisory Committee on Jan. 21, 2022, to review all the measures that were taken to adequately staff hospitals and health systems.
The committee determined that the ability of all Idaho hospitals and healthcare systems to deliver the usual standard of care has been severely affected by the severe staffing shortage and the nation-wide shortage of blood. The committee recommended to the director that crisis standards of care be activated statewide. Director Jeppesen issued his decision to activate in three health districts in southern Idaho on Jan. 24, 2022, under the authority vested in him through the temporary rule."
We will continue to keep you updated as this store develops.