Author

Audrey Dutton

Audrey Dutton

Audrey Dutton, senior investigative reporter, joined the Idaho Capital Sun after 10 years at the Idaho Statesman. Her favorite topics to cover include health care, business, consumer protection issues and white collar crime. Dutton hails from Twin Falls. She attended college at Hamline University in St. Paul, Minnesota, and received a master's degree in journalism from Columbia University in New York City. Before coming home to Idaho, Dutton worked as a journalist in Minnesota, New York, Maryland and Washington, D.C. Dutton's work has earned dozens of state, regional and national awards for investigative reporting, health care and business reporting, radio journalism, data visualization and much more.

A patient wears a pulse oximeter on their finger

No, Idaho is not under a ‘universal DNR.’ Hospitals won’t just let everyone die.

By: - September 18, 2021

A claim that everyone in Idaho is now under a “do-not-resuscitate” order — that they won’t be revived if their heart stops in the hospital — has gone viral on social media. But it’s not true. The state entered “crisis standards of care” last week, giving Idaho hospitals, nurses and doctors an ethical framework to […]

Saint Alphonsus doctors and nurses perform a tracheostomy on a patient in the ICU after COVID-19

Inside an Idaho hospital on Thursday, a ‘slower rolling’ mass casualty event

By: - September 17, 2021

There’s a 33-year-old man hospitalized in what used to be a cardiac ICU. Just like most of the other patients on this floor, he has COVID-19. He’s on his belly, unconscious, covered by a sheet. There is a breathing tube down his throat, and tubes in other places to drain bad fluids and deliver good […]

Health care workers during a shift at St. Luke’s Boise Medical Center on Aug. 30, 2021.

Idaho is now in statewide mass-casualty triage mode, due to COVID surge

By: and - September 16, 2021

Halting procedures that put someone at significant risk of permanent disability or chronic health problems. Idahoans with low oxygen levels waiting four or more hours to be seen. Nurses with less time to monitor vital signs and paralysis.  Health care workers using basic ventilation devices with no monitoring or sensing functions. Patients awaiting an intensive […]

A health care worker helps a patient at Saint Al's

Crisis-level hospital rationing ‘imminent’ for Boise-Nampa and Twin Falls

By: and - September 14, 2021

Idaho’s top health official on Tuesday warned multiple times that hospital crisis rationing is “imminent” for the Treasure Valley and Magic Valley. Hospitals in the Boise-Meridian-Nampa region and the Twin Falls region are at capacity — and often over capacity — for patients who need emergency, medical and critical care. “Just to be clear, crisis […]

Stock photo of a woman in a hospital laboring at childbirth

Dozens of Idaho women are expecting — and hospitalized with COVID-19

By: - September 14, 2021

More pregnant women in Idaho are getting sick with COVID-19. Some of them have to be hospitalized and put on ventilators because they can’t breathe — and, sometimes, their babies are delivered early because of preterm labor or in an effort to save the baby’s or mother’s life. “The heartbreaking discussions we are having with […]

Gov. Brad Little holds a press conference at Nampa High School on Thursday, Aug. 12.

Idaho governor has no immediate plans to issue COVID restrictions despite hospital crisis

By: - September 10, 2021

Idaho Gov. Brad Little on Friday announced that the state is “exploring legal action” against President Joe Biden’s plan to fine large private employers that don’t require the COVID-19 vaccine or routine testing — a move supported by the Idaho Republican Party and its chairman Tom Luna. “I have been consistent that government should stay […]

A sign shows the words "now hiring"

Travel nursing, housing costs add extra layer to Idaho’s COVID-19 crisis

By: - September 10, 2021

The top nursing officer for St. Luke’s Wood River Medical Center in July wrote a letter to the editor. She pleaded with Blaine County leaders and the community to help her find affordable housing for her workforce. Almost half the nurses offered jobs at the hospital between October 2019 and October 2020 turned them down. […]

Map showing new cases of COVID-19 in Ada and Canyon counties

COVID-19 moves westerly through Treasure Valley’s unvaccinated areas

By: - September 9, 2021

For the past month, the delta variant has continued to spread in western Ada County and made its way into Canyon County. An analysis of vaccination rates and new cases by ZIP code shows that areas with higher vaccination rates are doing a better job of fending off the coronavirus. But in areas with a […]

an overworked male nurse sits outside hospital

Dispatches from Idaho’s front lines: A hospital bed opens. Because someone died.

By: - September 8, 2021

Editor’s note: This is the second story in a series from the Idaho Capital Sun on what the Gem State’s health care workers are experiencing as they battle the latest surge of coronavirus in Idaho. Visit bitly.com/COVID-dispatch-1 to read the first story. The morning after a middle-aged man with COVID-19 died in a Treasure Valley […]

Kootenai Health classroom converted into COVID unit

Idaho enters grim ‘crisis’ period. Hospitals statewide on verge of rationing.

By: - September 7, 2021

Idaho on Monday moved into “crisis standards of care” for the first time in the state’s history. The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare announced the decision Tuesday morning. It applies to North Idaho, based on a recommendation from a large committee of health care and patient-advocacy stakeholders from around the state. All of Idaho is […]

Boise-area health board candidate may have exposed others to COVID

By: - September 3, 2021

Update: Elmore County commissioners on Friday afternoon voted 1-2 for Dr. Ryan Cole’s appointment to the Central District Health board. He needed just that one vote for the appointment, after receiving three votes from Boise County commissioners, two from Ada County and one from Valley County. A pathologist who is up for appointment to a […]

Health care worker holding a patient's hand

Dispatches from Idaho’s front lines: ‘This patient isn’t leaving the hospital alive’

By: - September 3, 2021

Editor’s note: This is the first story in a series from the Idaho Capital Sun on what the Gem State’s health care workers are experiencing as they battle the latest surge of coronavirus in Idaho. A middle-aged man arrived on a stretcher at an Idaho emergency room last month. He’d tested positive for COVID-19 several […]