Dr Maryam Abdool-Richards
By Chantalé Fletcher
THERE is no triage policy in place to deal with Covid-19 patients who have to go into intensive care.
This as there is almost no space in the Intensive Care Units for Covid-19 patients in the parallel healthcare system.
Principal Medical Officer Institutions Ministry of Health Dr Maryam Abdool-Richards speaking at the Ministry of Health’s virtual presser on Monday said that there was no triage policy yet implemented.
Dr Abdool-Richards said, “We have not yet implemented a triage policy but, we have respectfully cautioned the population of the potential need to implement this policy.”
Triage is a system where degrees of urgency are applied to wounds or illnesses to decide the order of treatment of a large number of patients or casualties.
Dr Abdool-Richards explained that if such a policy was to be implanted, it would be led by pulmonologist Dr Michelle Trotman, the clinical management teams at each regional health authority with their relevant specialists in regards into efforts regarding the triage policy.
Meanwhile Dr Abdool-Richards reiterated her point that a bed was not just a bed in that it needed a lot of resources to accommodate a patient.
She said, “We are also referring to the level of nursing and physician care, specialists that are required to maintain and provide the best level of care for that patient. We also use national guidance for World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines which are devised and formulated, adopted and adapted by our national clinical management team.”
Dr Abdool-Richards said components of an ICU bed inluded ventilators, consumables like oxygen lines and masks that go with the ventilators.
She said the appropriate oxygen concentrators and have to considered as well as in some cases specialist dialysis machines.
The doctor said ICU beds management was a global crisis and not only in Trinidad and Tobago that resources will eventually become expended.
Dr Abdool-Richards said, “If resources are expended then the triage system will have to come into play. This system looks at the clinical parameters of the patient, their prognosis and determine which patients will be admitted into the ICU.”