Italian Doctor Warns of Pneumonia Tsunami From Coronavirus

Posted on March 10, 2020

Italy has been one of the countries hardest hit so far by the Covid-19 coronavirus. They have 9,172 cases and 463 deaths. An Italian doctor on the frontlines in the battle against the virus is warning of its serious nature and that it is not just the elderly getting sick. He says, "Let's stop saying it's a bad flu."

Sky News reports that Dr. Daniele Macchini shared his experience in a Facebook post that has gone viral. Dr. Macchini says the disease is a "tsunami that has swept us all" and that the war against the virus rages day and night. He writes, "All this rapid transformation brought in the corridors of the hospital an atmosphere of surreal silence and emptiness that we still did not understand, waiting for a war that was yet to begin and that many (including me) were not so sure would ever come with such ferocity."

The elderly are the most vulnerable from the new virus, but Dr. Macchini also warns that the virus is not just making older people sick. He says younger people also "end up intubated in intensive care" or on an ECMO machine which pumps a person's blood through an artificial lung (oxygenator).

Macchini writes, "Sorry, but to me as a doctor it doesn't reassure you that the most serious are mainly elderly people with other pathologies. The elderly population is the most represented in our country and it is difficult to find someone who, above 65 years of age, does not take at least the tablet for pressure or diabetes. I also assure you that when you see young people who end up in intubated intensive care, pronated or worse in ECMO (a machine for the worst cases, which extracts the blood, re-oxygenates it and returns it to the body, waiting for the organism, hopefully, heal your lungs), all this tranquility for your young age passes."

Macchini's post also compares ventilators to gold as noted by Newsweek: "Every ventilator becomes like gold: those in operating theaters that have now suspended their non-urgent activity become intensive care places that did not exist before."

There have been reports that Italy's health system is on the verge of collapse in some regions. Italy has implemented a nationwide lockdown in an aggressive attempt to curtail the spread of the virus and give its hospitals and doctors a chance to help more patients survive.

A copy of Dr. Macchini's post can be found on Flutrackers.

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