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Alberta will use COVID-19 triage protocol if healthcare system too stressed

Last Updated Sep 13, 2021 at 8:52 pm MDT

CALGARY – As hospitalizations climb and ICUs overflow with COVID-19 patients, Alberta Health Services has developed a COVID-19 critical care triage protocol to be used if healthcare systems cannot keep up with demand.

If it’s implemented, healthcare providers in hospitals will have to chose which of their patients’ lives they will save.

The triage will only be activated when all resources have been utilized, but as one doctor notes, our resources have already been immensely stretched.


“We wouldn’t be cancelling every scheduled surgery in Calgary, for example, if we had our normal resources and our normal functioning system. So we’re already doing that and it’s probably worth it for Albertans to know there will be a lot of patients that will suffer and some will probably die,” said Dr. Paula Parks, Alberta Medical Association President of Emergency Medicine.

“The last thing we ever want to do is restrict access or not provide the best, ultimate care that we can give to every Albertan but every day we’re facing those challenges now.”

In a statement to CityNews, Alberta Health Services says it’s not using the triage protocol yet.

“However, given the significant pressure on our ICUs we are asking our critical care teams to refamiliarize themselves with the protocol,” AHS said.


Parks says they don’t want to be scaring people away by telling them there’s a COVID-19 triage system and if you need care, you should still seek it.

But in order to receive fast and quality care, every Albertan needs to do their part