News & Politics

Doctor Working in Italy Says They No Longer Allow Those Over 60 Access to Respirators

In this Jan. 22, 2020, photo released on Thursday, Jan. 23, 2020, by China's Xinhua News Agency, medical workers of the Union Hospital with the Tongji Medical College of the Huazhong University of Science and Technology in Wuhan participate in a ceremony to form an "assault team" to battle against a coronavirus epidemic in Wuhan in central China's Hubei Province, Jan. 23, 2020. China closed off a city of more than 11 million people Thursday in an unprecedented effort to try to contain a deadly new viral illness that has sickened hundreds and spread to other cities and countries in the Lunar New Year travel rush. (Cheng Min/Xinhua via AP)

An Israeli doctor working in the northern Italian city of Parma, told Israeli TV that the number of patients is continuing to grow and that authorities are not allowing those over 60 who are ill access to respiratory machines.

Israeli doctor Gai Peleg told Channel 12 that families of the terminally ill are being allowed close contact with the infected loved one, breaking quarantine.

Jerusalem Post:

As his department receives coronavirus patients who are terminally ill the focus is to allow patients to meet loved ones and communicate with them during their last moments despite the quarantine regulations. Other reports claim that, as the numbers of dead increases, some families find themselves unable to secure a proper burial for their loved ones.

Peleg said that, from what he sees and hears in the hospital, the instructions are not to offer access to artificial respiratory machines to patients over 60 as such machines are limited in number.

And it appears that the Italian government is still behind the curve when it comes to supplying doctors and hospitals with enough critical equipment.

Stressed out: Italian doctors and staff are saying how under-resourced and overstressed they are. “I would say that we are at the end of our strength,” Romano Paolucci, a doctor in Cremona, told Reuters this week.

“This is a small hospital and we are taking in a lot of people, I would say the capacity is finished.”

GoFundMe: Stefano Fagiuoli, a medical official in badly affected Bergamo, Lombardy, has posted a GoFundMe page that has so far raised over $1 million.

“We are in desperate need of both nurses and physicians, together with ventilators,” he tells ABC News.

Doctors from Russia, Israel, China, the U.S., and several other nations are traveling to northern Italy to help deal with the crush of critically ill patients. It’s a wonderful example of what can be done when people work together.