As a part of the new emergency plan in Italy, patients with coronavirus over the age of 80 may be denied treatment. Italy is the most affected country in the world at the moment, and it has reported over 31,500 confirmed coronavirus cases (at the moment of writing). The fatality count in the country is over 2,500, and Italy’s health care system hasn’t been able to cater to the rising patient count. The country’s new plan suggests that it has been left with no choice but to make hard decisions in the face of a health crisis.
The new proposal has been written by the civil protection department of Piedmont, one of the worst-hit regions, and the proposal notes that the region simply does not have enough intensive care resources to cope with the health crisis, forcing it to make choices on a daily basis.
You probably read the reports a few days ago that Italian hospitals are choosing to divert resources away from older people, given the chances of survival, but this is the first time authorities are looking to make it a part of their strategy during the health crisis. So, as a part of the new policy, once the intensive care resources are stretched to their maximum, those with a better chance of survival will get priority treatment.
The proposed emergency plan reads that the criteria for access to intensive therapy in cases of emergency must include an age of less than 80 or a score on the Charlson comorbidity Index (which measures other medical conditions) of less than 5.
The health counselor in Piedmont, Luigi Icardi, said that the crisis warranted tough decisions, and it isn’t one he’s proud of. He said that he never wanted to see such a moment, and government sources expect the proposal to be implemented across Italy. The proposal is pending approval from a technical-scientific committee before it is being sent out to hospitals.
Italy has taken extreme measures, despite the national lockdown that was being implemented over a week ago, and the number of infections has been constantly on the rise in the past week. According to experts, the mortality rates in Italy are higher than in any other place because of the age of the population in the country, which is the oldest in Europe.
Almost every country in the world has implemented some kind of measures, including the U.S., Germany, France, Spain, and the U.K.
Check out some urgent messages from people living in Italy during the coronavirus quarantine: