Background: Ventilator allocation plan for a public health crisis should be developed through recognizing the values of society and engaging the general public . This study was conducted to assess the Iranian citizens' attitude about some principles and criteria for allocation of ventilators in the current COVID-19 epidemic.Materials and
Methods: An electronic self-administered questionnaire was publicly distributed through social networks of Telegram and WhatsApp to perform this cross-sectional study . The questionnaire consisted of 11 statements about the selection and prioritization of patients for the use of a ventilator.Results : 1262 persons, including 767 citizens and 495 health care providers participated in this study . More than 95% of participants agreed upon the necessity to avoid discrimination and avoid prioritization according to patients' gender, economic and political status . While 40.9% of citizens and 49.6% of healthcare workers believed that a ventilator can be disconnected from a patient with a poor prognosis to help another patient who has a better prognosis (P-value = 0.13), 34.3% of people and 29.6% of healthcare workers believed that the earlier admitted patients have the right to receive the device even if the likeliness of his/her survival is less than the next patient (P-value = 0.009).
Conclusions: Maximizing health benefits as a measure of ventilator allocation in the pandemic of COVID-19 is an accepted criterion . Meanwhile, periodic evaluation of patients and disconnecting the device from a patient that no longer benefits from ICU services requires its scientific and ethical basis to be brought in public discourse.