COVID-19 Frontlines in Italy: Politico

COVID-19 spreads quickly, and confirmed cases grow exponentially in countries that test and release results in transparent ways. An article for Politico suggests that Italy’s doctors struggle against an onslaught of cases – an assessment that neglects the greater number of nurses and other health care workers who are truly on the frontlines: “hospitals are scrambling to increase the number of beds available in intensive care units…. With no clear sign of when the epidemic will spike, anesthesiologists and doctors are being called on to make increasingly tough calls on who gets access to beds and respirators when there are not enough to go around.” Providers are forced to make tough calls and reserve scarce resources for patients with the best chances of survival: “That means prioritizing younger, otherwise healthy patients over older patients or those with pre-existing conditions.” The ethical choices are challenging, and ignoring the crucial roles of any providers or hospital staff, from cleaning crews to administrators, will only increase system stresses. Italy is taking drastic steps to quarantine populations with a nationwide lockdown to ease hospital loads. Public health experts urge expansive nd even global approaches over piecemeal regional policies. – YaleGlobal

COVID-19 Frontlines in Italy: Politico

Demand outpaces supply: Nurses, doctors, aids, other health care workers in Italy heroically manage onslaught of COVID-19 cases with limited resources
Greta Privitera
Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Read the article from Politico Europe about the stress on hospitals in Italy.

	Nurses	Physicians Hospital beds Philippines (105 mil) 0.2, 2, 2 India (1.3 bil) 2.1, 0.8, 1 China (1.4 bil) 2.5,  2, 4.5 S Africa (57 mil) 3.5, 0.9,  3 Italy (60 mil) 6.7, 4.1, 3.4 UK (66 mil) 8.3, 2.8, 2.8 US (328 mil) 11.7, 2.6, 2.9 Germany (83 mil) 13.2, 4.2, 8.3 Japan (127 mil) 11.5,  2.4, 13.4

Some countries are more prepared with nurses, physicians and hospital beds than others; the totals are from various years (Source: World Bank, OECD, Statista)

intensive care ward with COVID-19 patients and caregivers in Wuhan, China

(Source: China Daily News, Reuters)