As the coronavirus epidemic is overwhelming the country, Italy has decided to take drastic measures.
While the numbers of patients is growing every day, places in hospitals stay the same, making them overcrowded.
Coronavirus victims that are 80 or more or in poor health conditions will be denied access to intensive care. Some patients that will have been denied intensive care will be left to die, the doctors fear.
A document, produced by the civil protection department of the Piedmont region, states that: “The criteria for access to intensive therapy in cases of emergency must include age of less than 80 or a score on the Charlson comorbidity Index ( which indicates how many other medical conditions the patient has) of less than 5.” The ability of recovery after resuscitation will also be taken into consideration.
The same document says:”The growth of the current epidemic makes it likely that a point of imbalance between the clinical needs of patients with COVID-19 and the effective availability of intensive resources will be reached. Should it become impossible to provide all patients with intensive care services, it will be necessary to apply criteria for access to intensive treatment, which depends on the limited resources available”.
The document is already complete and waiting for the approval of a technical-scientific committee.
After that, it will be sent to hospitals to be put in practice.
Currently, there are 5,090 intensive care beds in Italy, which currently exceeds the number of patients that need them. They are also working on increasing the bed capacity in private clinics, nursing homes and even tents.
At this moment, Italy is dealing with over 24,000 patients that have been infected with COVID-19, the second largest number of people infected in the world. More than 1,000 people have died after getting infected and the number is growing every day.
Source: The Telegraph