Published: Jan. 24, 2011
Updated: Jan. 24, 2011
A 2007 report from the North Carolina Institute of Medicine estimated that a severe influenza pandemic in North Carolina might result in as many as 290,000 hospital visits in eight weeks.
Many resources (physicians, nurses, pain medications, ventilators) would be scarce -- so scarce that it may not be possible to provide all of the essential services that an individual patient would receive under normal circumstances. Such an event would precipitate some tough decisions, so many states, including North Carolina, have begun drafting plans to guide those choices.
The North Carolina Medical Society has crafted a plan that is now under consideration in the North Carolina governor’s office, says Philip M. Rosoff, MD, MA, who helped draft the plan. The details of this and other plans are still apt to change, and at some point are likely to come up for public debate. Here are some examples of issues these plans address: