Pandemic plans

The state’s Web site that outlines the ethical considerations of a pandemic flu has now gone live.

The report, called For the Good of Us All: Ethically Rationing Health Resources in Minnesota in a Severe Influenza Pandemic, is available here.

Among the items in it:

  • Thirty percent of Minnesotans will get the flu during the pandemic.
  • Minnesota will have enough antivirals to treat 21 percent of Minnesotans. It the duration or dosage is doubled, it’ll be 10 percent.
  • The state has stockpiled 2.4 million respirators.
  • The notion of age-based rationing as the most controversial for the panel that devised the framework.
  • 172,000 people will be hospitalized.
  • The pandemic will last two years.
  • Morgues and mortuary services will be overwhelmed.
  • The U.S. GDP will drop by around 5 percent.
  • The first goal is to make sure that no group suffers more deaths than another.
  • The panel rejected social value (race, gender, education, religion or citizenship),quality of life, duration of benefit (with the exception of persons who are imminently and irreversibly dying) and first-come, first-served as methods for rationing health care.
  • Suggested considerations for who gets resources in the event of rationing are: exposure to one of the earliest cases of influenza or to a contained outbreak;risk of exposure; risk of influenza-related mortality and serious morbidity; key role in supporting basic health care, public health, public safety or other critical functions; risk of transmitting influenza to persons at high risk of flu-related mortality; and possibly age.