Coronavirus: Italian doctor reveals horror with hospitals overwhelmed – ‘War has exploded’

One Italian doctor, called Daniele Macchini said: “On the wards war has literally exploded, uninterrupted day and night. Drug therapies for this virus are few. It is mainly hoped that our body will eradicate the virus on its own.

“Antiviral therapies are experimental on this virus and we learn its behaviour day after day.

“Staying at home until the symptoms worsen does not change the prognosis of the disease.”

The Doctor said that it is not like the “classical flu. They have far from the complications of a flu. Let’s stop saying it’s a bad flu.”

He said: “Covid 19 causes a banal influence in many young people, but in many elderly people, it arrives directly into the alveoli of the lungs and infects them making them unable to perform their function.”

The Milan based doctor added: “Please be patient too, you can’t go to the theatre, museums or gym.

“Try to have mercy on that myriad of older people you could exterminate.

“It is not your fault, I know, but of those who put it in your head that you are exaggerating and even this testimony may seem just an exaggeration for those who are far from the epidemic, but please, listen to us, try to leave the house only for indispensable things.

In Lombardy, the wealthy region at the heart of Italy’s coronavirus outbreak, a shortage of beds and medical supplies is forcing doctors to make increasingly difficult choices.

As the number of infected keeps rising, the number of reported cases in Italy topped 7,900 Monday, more than 70 percent of them in Lombardy, hospitals are scrambling to increase the number of beds available in intensive-care units.

Some have closed entire wards to dedicate them to severe coronavirus cases. Others have transformed operating rooms into intensive-care units. Doctors are working gruelling shifts to cover for colleagues who fall ill.

With no clear sign of when the epidemic will spike, anesthesiologists and doctors are being called on to make increasingly tough calls on who gets access to beds and respirators when there are not enough to go around.

A doctor working in one of Milan’s largest hospitals said: ”It is a fact that we will have to choose whom to treat and this choice will be entrusted to individual operators on the ground who may find themselves having ethical problems.”

Lombardy has some 900 beds available for patients needing intensive care, but in some provinces, particularly in Bergamo, Lodi and Pavia, hospitals are “near saturation,” the doctor said.

“We are aware that the body of an extremely fragile patient is unable to tolerate certain treatments compared to that of a healthy person,” Luigi Riccioni, an anesthesiologist, said.

For now, the marching orders are: Save scarce resources for those patients who have the greatest chance of survival. That means prioritising younger, otherwise healthy patients over older patients or those with pre-existing conditions.

“We do not want to discriminate,” said Luigi Riccioni, an anaesthesiologist and head of the ethical committee of Siiarti, the Italian Society of Anesthesia, Analgesia, Resuscitation and Intensive Care, who co-authored new guidelines on how to prioritise treatment of coronavirus cases in hospitals. 

He added: “We are aware that the body of an extremely fragile patient is unable to tolerate certain treatments compared to that of a healthy person.”

By issuing recommendations, Riccioni said he wants to ensure doctors and medical staff are not left alone “in front of such a difficult ethical choice.”

“Many colleagues are afraid of the dizzying increase of the epidemic,” he added.

Italy’s Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte has announced a lockdown of the entire country.

In an interview that went viral after it was published in the Italian daily Corriere della Sera Monday, Christian Salaroli, an anesthesiologist from a hospital in Bergamo, recounted scenes of wartime triage, where old patients have to be left by the wayside. 

He said: “The choice is made inside of an emergency room used for mass events, where only COVID-19 patients enter. If a person is between 80 and 95 and has severe respiratory failure, he probably won’t make it.”

The principle of “first come, first served” has been abandoned, said Mario Riccio, an anesthesiologist who works at a hospital in Cremona.

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