Leaked document reveals how Catalonian doctors are treating the elderly in hospital

The document added doctors are to prioritise patients “with the best chance of survival and avoid admitting patients with little benefit,“ it has been reported. The news was revealed by news site betevé, who received a copy of the document from hospital staff in Catalan. Emergency services staff and some hospitals received the document which recommended more brutal measures in the nations fight against coronavirus.

The official Catalan health department recommendations are reported to be that anyone over the age of 80 must first be treated with an oxygen mask for 15 minutes.

If their condition does not improve, they are to be moved to ICU units for comfort treatment.

For ages 75-80, similar measures are in place, paying reference to their fitness, specifically if they are a 1 to a 2 on the Rockwood scale.

The Rockwood scale is a clinical fragility test, seeing how receptive elderly patients will be to treatment.

Anyone below the age of 75 is recommended to be treated with respirators if after oxygen therapy they do not improve.


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It’s also recommended that elderly patients not be transported to hospital if they’re unlikely to recover.

The document states: “when the futility [sic] of therapeutic measures is observed, the patient can be left at home.

“This is provided that they can be insured with primary care network follow-up and palliative care.”

The documents main aim is to recommend measures that make sure health care is prioritised for “those patients who will benefit most.”

This means avoiding “admissions of patients (where treatment is) with little benefit.”

Minister of Health Alba Vergés has denied that instructions were given to health care providers.

She has said: “Clinical criteria prevail above all.

“(Doctors and carers) will apply the therapeutic intensity that each person deserves.”

The document also states that treatment of elderly patients isn’t firmly in place.

It reads: “The medical criterion of each patient is about [sic] of these general recommendations.”


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The document also contains language tips for communicating to elderly patients and their families.

Due to high demand of hospital beds, there may be a need to decline beds to elderly coronavirus victims.

It calls for using “common sense, empathy and consensus in decisions” when discussing the matter with families.

It explicitly states as well: “(Do not) mention the fact that ‘there are no beds for all’ as a reason to deny intensive care.”

The Catalan government is bolstering the health department with a further 80 million euros.

They’re also making public transport free during the ongoing public health emergency.

Catalan currently has 19,991 confirmed coronavirus cases as of Tuesday.

Of those, 1,849 people have died after contracting the virus.

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