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nigeria

When the ventilators are insufficient

Health workers face lots of dilemma in allocating resources during a pandemic. The resources could include beds, ventilators, vaccines and medicines. During a disease outbreak, these resources are scarce. There is an insufficient supply to meet every patient’s needs. Health workers make decisions between saving ones life and allowing others to die.Major ethical consideration include:

1) Equality : Each patient. Should be treated without any discrimination. Tribe, gender, Creed,etc should not be used as a basics for allocating scarce resources

A) FIFO: First come, first served. Priority is given in order in which they are diagnosed until no ventilator remain.

B) Lottery: patients are assigned a number. Health workers select a random number and ventilator is issued to the patient with that number.

2)Best Outcome; resources are allocated based on patient capacity to do the most good. Volunteer Researchers who risk their lives to develop a vaccine deserve to be attended to should they get infected in the process. Doctors and health workers deserve special consideration.

3) Worst off ; Resources are allocated based on those in greater medical need.

4) Short term survival: persons with the best chance of survival are given priority. Those with fewer underlying illness are favored because it is predicted that they w should be discharged quickly and ventilator made available to the next patient.

Withdrawal of resources from one recovered patient could have lots of legal implication. Wealthy Individuals and organization can manufacture mechanical ventilator and donate to hospital to reduce this moral dillema.