Economics and Logistics vs Science #H1N1

4 Sep

From CIDRAP news http://www.cidrap.umn.edu/cidrap/content/influenza/swineflu/news/sep0309iom.html

“I think the IOM has missed the mark,” Carrico told CIDRAP News.

She acknowledged that the panel of authors was specifically charged with looking only at the science and not the logistical and economic issues. But she said it’s difficult to separate the scientific issues from the logistical matters, such as the ability of health workers to follow the guidance and its applicability in clinical settings.

“As a human being, if you’re being told this is the best protection for your and you go to work and that protection is not available, how likely are you to go to work the next day?” she asked.

She makes a good point, on the other hand… is it right to present a economics driven report, such that folks dont know what they may be up against? 

From a public policy point of view, on the one hand, panic is not cool, on the other not to consider worst case scenarios is not cool either. A few days ago, I posteroused about the factor of 3 figure used in H1N1 planning, followed by the CDC downplaying that number, and wondered what the real multiplier would be for planning. I found a cool article entitled Ethically Rationing Heath Resources in MN in a Severe Influenze Pandemic, where they use a multiplier of 20. Indeed, such is a worst case scenario, albeit an exceedingly unlikely worst case scenario… 

 http://www.ahc.umn.edu/mnpanflu/prod/groups/ahc/@pub/@ahc/@ethicsmpep/documents/content/ahc_content_090503.pdf

Certainly to plan things out in total for a multiplier of 20 would be overkill, but to put ones head in the sand, and use a multiplier of 1.1 is not exactly prudent either.

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