April 29, 2020
The Mexican General Health Council have been discussing several protocols to manage the health crisis. Recently, in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, the Council published the “DRAFT Triage Guide for the Allocation of Critical Medical Resources”. The guide aims to outline how decisions should be made if the health emergency generates a demand for critical medical resources which is not possible to satisfy.
Examples of critical medical resources mentioned in the guide, which may generate a high demand, are organs for transplantation, critical care beds and mechanical ventilators. A prioritization scale is proposed, which gives critical care priority to patients over others depending on a number of factors.
The guide also makes suggestions as to how to organize the triage system and which personnel should make the decisions. It is important to note that the triage system is to be applied to all patients who require critical care, not just those with COVID-19. The aim in a public health emergency is to save as many lives as possible, and also to save the most lives-to-complete.
The guide itself states that it is not definitive and still needs to be discussed and agreed by the General Health Council before being implemented. The hope is that due to the early social distancing measures being practiced by the country, Mexico will not experience a shortage of critical medical resources, and therefore, such difficult decisions will not need to be made.
Shortly after its publication, it is apparent that the contents of the draft guide caused significant controversy, resulting in its deletion from the official website of the Mexican General Health Council.
OLIVARES will continue monitoring the developments of this guide, in order to inform and advise our clients about the related legal implications.