Italian doctor raises alarm over coronavirus: “We have to choose who to treat”

“I see too many people on the street, you have no idea what is happening,” said Dr. Christian Salaroli in an interview with the daily Il Corriere della Sera.

ATnesthesiologist-resuscitator in Lombardy, Italian region confined due to contagion to the coronavirus, Doctor Christian Salaroli explains that doctors must now choose who to treat “according to age and state of health, as in situations of war “. “Saying that we do not die from coronavirus is a lie that fills me with bitterness,” says Christian Salaroli, 48, in an interview on Monday Contacted by AFP, the press service of Jean-XXIII hospital at Bergamo (northern Italy), where he works, was unavailable Monday.

The hospital practitioner specifies that the emergency is so great in the face of the coronavirus that he and his colleagues must now select, from among the most serious patients, those who may or may not have access to mechanical resuscitation (by intubation).

“I see too many people on the street”

Patients with viral pneumonia with acute respiratory failure are first placed on non-invasive ventilation (NIV), using an oxygen mask. “It’s a first step, but after a few days, we have to choose. As there is unfortunately a disproportion between hospital resources, intensive care beds and critically ill patients, not everyone can be intubated, ”recognizes the doctor. “We decide based on age and state of health. If a person between the ages of 80 and 95 has severe respiratory failure, it is likely that they will not continue. If she has a multi-organic insufficiency of more than two or three vital organs, this means that her mortality rate is 100%. It’s lost, “he continues.

Also a mountain rescue doctor, Dr Salaroli says that some of his colleagues come out “crushed by this situation”. “A head of department or a young doctor who has just arrived may have to decide the fate of a human being in the early hours,” he said. Asked about the quarantine of 15 million inhabitants of northern Italy, decided Sunday by the government to try to contain the epidemic, the anesthesiologist believes that it is “fair but arrives a week late “

What matters to him now is “stay home, stay home.” I keep repeating it. I see too many people on the street, you have no idea what’s going on. “

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