Last month the skeptical cardiologist asked Nicola Triglione, a native of Southern Italy who completed his cardiology fellowship in Milan to give us his perspective on the US and Italian health care systems.
Since Italy is now at the European epicenter of the COVID-19 epidemic and second only to China in number of
cases and deaths, American scientists and public health officials are now closely scrutinizing Italy’s response and outcomes.
I emailed Nicola to see what his situation was and he provided this information and advice for my readers:
Hello everyone from Milan, as you already know Italy is in lockdown over the new coronavirus (Covid-19). The northern regions of Lombardy, Veneto and Emilia-Romagna have been most affected by the outbreak and what’s happening here it’s just surreal. I just wanted to reach out to you because we all have the responsibilities to prevent this. The majority of infections are mild but the pandemic is growing at an exponential speed. The infection is much more aggressive for certain groups: elderly, cancer patients and patient with cardiovascular disease are at higher risk of dying. Hospitals are severely overloaded and the real problem is that medical staff gets sick.
My only take on is: stay home for as long as possible, lots of contagions happen before there are symptoms. Virus doesn’t spread if people don’tinteract. If we can postpone cases the healthcare system will be able to handle contagions much better. I hope the US authorities will stop public gatherings and everything really not necessary. Last but not least, we need to test everybody as limited testing only postpones the problem.Dott. Nicola Triglione
For those who want to learn more about the situation in Italy, watch this video interview with Dr. Cecconi of Humanitas University in Milan discussing the region’s approach to the surge, including clinical and supply management, health care worker training and protection, and ventilation strategies, with JAMA Editor Howard Bauchner.