Doctor reveals horrors Italian medics are facing in ‘overwhelmed’ hospitals where staff must choose who to save, as experts warn UK is ‘two weeks behind Italy’ and the public are not SCARED enough

Tuesday, March 10, 2020
By Paul Martin

An intensive care doctor in northern Italy has described the scale of the crisis
The medic said colleagues were becoming ‘sick and emotionally overwhelmed’
Also issued a warning for the UK that the Italian chaos could come to Britain
Experts have warned that UK outbreak may be around two weeks behind Italy’s

10 March 2020

Italian hospitals are so ‘overwhelmed’ by coronavirus that strokes are going untreated and elderly patients are not even being assessed, a doctor at the centre of the crisis has said – while another medic said people should be panicking more.

Doctors in Italy have been forced into life-or-death decisions over who should receive intensive care, with virus cases piling up around the country.

A medic in northern Italy told a friend in the UK that hospitals were running at ‘200 per cent capacity’ with operating theatres hurriedly converted into intensive care units.

Non-coronavirus cases are being sidelined with some medics being given a ‘leaflet’ and told to perform specialist tasks for which they are not qualified, while some patients over 65 are not even being assessed, the doctor said.

In addition, medical staff themselves are becoming ‘sick and emotionally overwhelmed’ and left ‘in tears’ because they cannot stop people dying, they said.

The medic’s comments were published in a Twitter thread by UK-based friend Jason van Schoor, an anaesthetist and clinical fellow at University College London.

The doctor also issued a warning for the UK, saying that the Italian chaos would repeat itself in Britain ‘if you don’t take it seriously’.

His warning was echoed by a second doctor who suggested people should be more scared, saying that overzealous warnings to remain calm meant ‘the danger of what is happening does not reach people’.

Experts have suggested that the UK outbreak is around two weeks behind that in Italy, meaning Britain could be heading for a similar nightmare within a fortnight.

Medics treat a patient at a hospital in Schiavonia, in northern Italy which has been worst-affected by the coronavirus outbreak in the country

Part of the Twitter thread in which a UK-based anaesthetist relays a message from a doctor in northern Italy. ITU means intensive treatment unit and OR means operating room. NIV means non-invasive ventilation

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