This article is the American Geriatrics Society (AGS) position statement, “Resource Allocation Strategies and Age-Related Considerations in the COVID-19 Era and Beyond”. It includes the official recommendations of AGS, designed to guide stakeholders in the allocation of resources during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Age should not be a factor in resource allocation nor should it be used to exclude patients from standard of care interventions.
- Social determinants of health should be regarded during the assessment of comorbidities.
- When there is a need for allocation of limited supplies key factors to consider are in-hospital survival and comorbidities contributing to short-term mortality.
- Criteria including “life-years saved” and “long-term predicted life expectancy” create bias and should not be considered in regard to resource allocation.
- Individuals charged with triage should have knowledge of available resources and be available to clinicians during the decision-making process of resource allocation; however, they should not be involved in the care of patients needing the limited resources. If feasible triage committees should be multidisciplinary.
- Resource allocation plans should be transparent and administered consistently. These plans should be created with guidance from ethics, medicine, law, and nursing. Reassessment of plans should be at regular intervals to include current scientific developments and to evaluate impact and potential bias.
- Advance care planning discussions play a crucial role in delivery of ethical patient centered care. While these discussions would ideally occur in advance of a crisis, attempts to conduct advance care planning in all settings should be escalated.