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edmontonjournal edmontonjournal.com 13 Sep, 2021 16:30 am

Alberta faces growing risk of activating critical-care triage protocol during COVID-19 fourth wave, doctors say

Alberta faces growing risk of activating critical-care triage protocol during COVID-19 fourth wave, doctors say
Emergency doctors are raising alarm that triaging is a grim possibility during the ongoing fourth wave, driven by the Delta variant.

Paul Parks said staffing strains in Alberta intensive-care units coupled with a surging fourth wave of COVID-19 infections mean there is a growing possibility the province will have to activate its Critical Care Triage Framework.“I think we’re coming closer to it than we ever have come to it,” said Parks, who is also an emergency physician.But Parks said the stats don’t necessarily reflect the reality of ICUs, saying some have resorted to double-bunking patients.Parks said an “open discussion” needs to be had about how immunization status against COVID-19 factors into the triaging protocol.

That scenario never materialized during the third wave, but Parks and other emergency doctors are raising alarm that triaging is a grim possibility during the ongoing fourth wave, driven by the ultra-contagious Delta variant.Parks added Premier Jason Kenney has described Alberta’s fourth wave as a “crisis of the unvaccinated.

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