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Italian Hospitals Rationing Healthcare for Older, Sicker Coronavirus Patients

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March 12, 2020

Doctors working in Italy’s overwhelmed hospitals say they have been forced to ration services for older, sicker patients in order to prioritize younger patients who are more likely to be saved from the coronavirus.

At a hospital in Italy’s northern Lombardy region — the epicenter of not only Italy’s but Europe’s coronavirus crisis — patients with the best chances of survival have been moved to the front of the line, getting full attention from hospital staff, according to a report by the Times.

The report added that doctors are saying some patients suffering strokes or other traumas cannot be treated, and that patients dealing with other serious health problems — such as pneumonia, heart attacks, and strokes — might be unable to obtain a hospital bed.

As for non-urgent procedures, those have been reduced to almost zero, according to Italian doctors.

“If someone between 80 and 95 has serious breathing difficulties, you probably don’t proceed,” said Christian Salaroli, anesthetist at a hospital in Bergamo, according to the Times.

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This article was posted: Thursday, March 12, 2020 at 6:58 am

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