How should emergency responders in Nevada allocate medical resources in the event of a major disaster? Reno Public Radio's Anh Gray explains why the state’s health agency is seeking public input on a survey addressing this concern.
The Nevada Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Public and Behavioral Health is in the process of developing guidelines on how to allocate scarce medical resources during a catastrophe, like natural disasters or a pandemic.
Andrea Esp is with the Washoe County Health District. She says it’s critical to get community participation.
“Because it is our loved ones who are going to be impacted, every single one of us," Esp explains, "and these are really tough decisions and as a community, we’re going to have to come together and be on the same page.”
The survey includes hard questions, like this one: Should doctors and nurses be free to make their own decisions about which patients will get treatment and which ones will not? Another one poses this challenge: Should elderly patients get less medical care so that more children and young adults can be saved?
Esp says results will be used to develop operating procedures for area hospitals and emergency responders by next year.
The survey is available until July 20th. To take the survey, click here.