Italian Dr. Daniele McKinney described on his Facebook page the real situation with the coronavirus in the clinic Humanitas Gavazzeni very emotionally.
«I will try to convey in simple language to people far from medicine what is happening in our clinic in Bergamo during the days of the epidemic.
I was very surprised and misunderstood what happened to our hospital when the virus was still invisible seven days ago.
It was as if we were preparing for battle, letting all non-serious patients go home, putting extra beds in wards and intensive care units and blocking corridors for the possible isolation of future patients. The hospital after all these manipulations turned out to be like a military hospital. We did not understand what awaited us.
I remember the first patient with suspected coronavirus appeared, her diagnosis was confirmed by the laboratory. We all knew about the possible consequences for each of us, but were completely unprepared for what happened next.
A stream of infected patients began, and we worked day and night, and the problem was aggravated by the fact that the people of Bergamo stayed at home during the first days of the illness. They were admitted to the hospital at an advanced stage of the disease with acute respiratory failure. Such patients urgently needed oxygen, which could only be expelled in the hospital.
The number of infected people is growing very fast, 15-20 people are added daily and this is only in one of our hospitals in our city. Positive test results are coming back from the laboratory one by one. The symptoms are the same: fever, cough, difficult breathing.
Same X-ray readings: acute bilateral pneumonia. And it’s a readout for non-alternative hospitalization, and straight to the ICU. Some patients won’t even be able to use it anymore!
Our clinic is full, the diagnosis is the same for acute bilateral pneumonia.
The virus 2019-nCoV behaves in a peculiar way, it does not stay in the upper respiratory tract, but immediately infects the lung alveoli, making them non-functional. And a person can only recover if his or her body is able to do it by itself. The disease has not been studied yet, there is no cure and any therapy is done at the level of experimentation, not conscious treatment.
It’s true that the main blow of the virus is to older people over 65 years of age. But there are also young people who are connected to ventilators and ECMO blood-saturated oxygen devices. This proves that the young body will not protect you from danger either.
At our Humanitas Gavazzeni Clinic there are no profile specialists or different departments at the moment, we all fight only one enemy and work as one team against the tsunami. Everyone is working to the limit, day and night.
We use all the possible synergies of defense, but we are still at great risk. And the doctors at the clinic are also infected now. Some of them have managed to infect their families and their relatives are between life and death now.
I had to isolate myself from my family not to infect my children and elderly parents. I cry when I look at my son’s picture on my desk and when I talk to him on Skype.
All I have to say to you is: be very careful and don’t go to crowded places, make sure that your elderly relatives are isolated as possible from the outside world, including yourself. Only leave the house if it is really vital.
You can share this message. We all need to spread the word to prevent what’s happening here all over Italy.”