Austrian hospitals to make the call on life & death during Covid — Analysis

A special team has been established by the Salzburg Clinics to identify patients with higher survival chances.

Austrian media reports that medical staff are facing a difficult decision in the face of a sudden increase in Covid cases. The Salzburg region’s intensive care units are overflowing with patients, and Tuesday saw a record 33. The region ranks amid Austria’s hardest-hit, logging more than 1,500 new infections per 100,000 residents in a week. In an emotional plea for help to the local government, the head of Salzburg’s hospitals warned that soon clinics would likely not be able to guarantee the existing level of standards in terms of medical treatment. A representative for the city clinics likened the situation to “Running into a wall.

The region’s governor, Wilfried Haslauer, announced on Tuesday that some of the Covid patients whose condition was no longer life-threatening would be transferred from hospitals to rehabilitation centers to make room for more serious cases.

Austria imposes compulsory vaccination from February 1 & nationwide lockdown starting Monday

Upper Austria’s situation is even worse. The number of people dying in intensive care units has increased to a level that exceeds those seen during the Covid wave. Speaking to Austria’s Der Standard paper on condition of anonymity, healthcare workers there said they had free beds “Because the infected people are now dying.

For the time being, the creation of a so-called ‘triage team’ in Salzburg hospitals is being described as a “Take precautionary steps.” The panel is made up of six people: one legal expert and five providers from various medical disciplines. They will decide which patients have a chance of succeeding and which are unlikely to be successful if necessary.

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