Saudi Critical Care Journal

ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year
: 2022  |  Volume : 6  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 61--67

Awareness, opinion, attitude of intensive care unit specialists about the ethical guidelines for dealing with clinical decisions regarding the allocation of scarce resources during the COVID-19 pandemic


Faisal A Al-Suwaidan1, Jamal S AlJarallah2, Nada A Alyousefi2, Ghaiath Hussein3 
1 Division of Neurology, Department of Medicine, Security Force Hospital; Clinical Excellence Administration, Riyadh Second Health Cluster, King Fahad Medical City; Clinical Assistant Professor, Collage of Medicine, Princess Nourah Bint Abdulrahman University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
2 Department of Family and Community Medicine, College of Medicine; King Saud University Medical City, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
3 Assistant Professor in Medical Ethics and Law, School of Medicine, Trinity College Dublin, Dublin 2, Ireland, Europe

Correspondence Address:
Faisal A Al-Suwaidan
Department of Medicine, Division of Neurology, Security Force Hospital, Riyadh
Saudi Arabia

Background: With the escalation of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, critical care specialists have been challenged by ethical issues related to the distribution of scarce resources. Many relevant guidelines have been published worldwide. The Saudi Critical Care Society included a local framework for ethics in its first clinical guidelines for clinical decisions regarding the allocation of scarce resources during the COVID-19 pandemic for COVID-19 patients in intensive care units (ICUs). This study aimed to assess the awareness, opinions, and attitudes of ICU specialists concerning these ethical guidelines and the proposed definitions. Methods: A descriptive cross-sectional study using a self-administered questionnaire was conducted. The study population included 300 ICU physicians in Saudi Arabia who were members of the Saudi Critical Care Society. Results: A total of 70 participants (23.3%) responded to the questionnaire. Most were male, non-Saudi, and Muslim. Professionally, they were mostly intensivists with 10 or more years of experience. The most agreed-upon suggested definitions were “health crisis,” “salvageable patients” category, and the “necessity scale” (32; 45.7%, 37; 52.9%, 52; 74.3%, and 34; 48.6%, respectively). Less agreement was observed for the definitions of “de-escalation without omission” and “primary triage scale” (20; 28.6%, and 21; 3%, respectively). The most agreed-upon statements were those requiring healthcare providers to receive training on contagious diseases and calling for providing them with housing if a situation requires them to leave their homes (56; 80%), while the least agreed-upon statements concerned withholding mechanical ventilation from patients (29; 41.4%). Conclusion: During epidemics, health-care workers provide services in unusual, challenging situations. Doing so necessitates support in social, psychological, and professional areas. A decision-making framework is needed that endorses the cultural and religious contexts, as well as the lived experiences of frontline clinicians, including a clear de-escalation plan and a primary triage system during the pandemic.


How to cite this article:
Al-Suwaidan FA, AlJarallah JS, Alyousefi NA, Hussein G. Awareness, opinion, attitude of intensive care unit specialists about the ethical guidelines for dealing with clinical decisions regarding the allocation of scarce resources during the COVID-19 pandemic.Saudi Crit Care J 2022;6:61-67


How to cite this URL:
Al-Suwaidan FA, AlJarallah JS, Alyousefi NA, Hussein G. Awareness, opinion, attitude of intensive care unit specialists about the ethical guidelines for dealing with clinical decisions regarding the allocation of scarce resources during the COVID-19 pandemic. Saudi Crit Care J [serial online] 2022 [cited 2023 Feb 3 ];6:61-67
Available from: https://www.sccj-sa.org/article.asp?issn=2543-1854;year=2022;volume=6;issue=3;spage=61;epage=67;aulast=Al-Suwaidan;type=0