Crisis standard: St. Louis hospitals may have to make the difficult choice of who to treat


ST. LOUIS, Mo. – In a year of sacrifices, the St. Louis Metropolitan Pandemic Task Force says people need to give a little more. They say hospitals are talking crisis care.

“I’m not trying to make this into a political argument. Im trying to saves. Thats all im trying to do,” said Task Force Commander Dr. Alex Garza.

Dr. Garza says within a week or two at current COVID-19 trends hospitals will be forced to use the crisis standards of care.

“In short, we have to make choices about who can be helped with limited resources available. We have to make choices of who can’t be helped. It’s a dilemna no healthcare worker ever wants to face,” said Dr. Garza.

Garza says he is talking about making decisions on COVID and non-COVID patients. Cancer situations, heart attacks and strokes are not things they would turn away. But many patients would be. He says there is only one way to slow the suffering.

“That is statewide safer at home policy to limit face to face intercations and immediately decrease the spread of the virus,” said Dr. Garza.

The policy would ask people to stay at home except for essential trips and no social gatherings.

Dr. Garza served in Operation Iraqi Freedom. I asked fighting COVID is similar to a war. He said yes, but it’s also different.

“If you think about the virus as enemy, the enemy is amassing at our border and we don’t have forces we need to combat it because it is too much,” said Dr. Garza.

Dr. Garza says in the miltary there is always a reserve force. You can parachute the 82nd Airborne in but in St. Louis, we are out of resources. We have what we have.

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