COVID: ICU strain almost unbearable say docs

Nearly unsustainable in red regions, very heavy in orange ones

(ANSA) - ROME, 17 NOV - The strain on intensive care units (ICUs) in the COVID emergency is almost unbearable in high-risk red zones, ICU doctors said Tuesday denying a claim by Italy's COVID commissioner, Domenico Arcuri, that they were coping well.
    Antonio Giarratano, head of the ICU doctors association SIAARTI, told Rai Tre that "it has been stated that the pressure on intensive care is sustainable but in fact in the red regions the pressure is almost unsustainable, and in the orange ones it is very, very heavy".
    He said "claiming that 10,000 ventilators can ensure a sufficient margin to sustain this exponential growth in intensive-care admissions means thinking that it is enough to turn on a ventilator to save a life.
    "Sadly, that is not so." Arcuri, the government's COVID-19 emergency commissioner, on Monday denied reports that Italy was running out of intensive-care places because of the number of coronavirus patients.
    "In March we had 5,000 ICU places," Arcuri said.
    "At the peak (of the emergency) we had 7,000 patients in intensive care, 2,000 more than capacity.
    "Today we have around 10,000 places in intensive care and we'll reach 11,300 next month.
    "At the moment there are some 3,300 (COVID patients) in intensive care so there isn't pressure on these departments".


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