PMID: 16292072Nov 18, 2005

Rationing critical care medicine: recent studies and current trends

Current Opinion in Critical Care
Nicholas S Ward


This paper reviews the literature on the rationing of critical care resources. Although much has been written about the concept of rationing, there have been few scientific studies as to its prevalence. A recent meta-analysis reviewed all previously published studies on rationing access to intensive care units but little is known about practices within the intensive care unit. Much literature in the past few years has focused on the growing use of critical care resources and projections for the future. Several authors suggest there may be a crisis in financial or personnel resources if some rationing does not take place. Other papers have argued that the methods of rationing critical care previously proposed, such as limiting the care of dying patients or using cost-effectiveness analysis to determine care, may not be effective or viewed as ethical by some. Finally, several recent papers review how critical care is practiced and allocated in India and Asian countries that already practice open rationing in their health care systems. There is currently no published evidence that overt rationing is taking place in critical care medicine. There is growing evidence that in the future, the need for critical care may outstrip financi...Continue Reading


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Related Concepts

Care of Intensive Care Unit Patient
Intensive Care Unit
Health Care Rationing
International Relations

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