requests to 118-WWN increased by 50%.

requests to 118-WWN increased by 50%.


Ambulances arrive at hospitals, but cannot leave patients due to lack of beds. There is still time to get vaccinated

The situation in Italian emergency rooms is worsening: they are under attack and Waiting times for patients who need to be hospitalized are increasing alarmingly. He says it Fabio De Iaco, president of the Italian Society of Emergency Medicine (Simeu). Only in Lazio – he explains toHandle – there are currently over a thousand patients awaiting admission to the ED; they reach 500 in Piedmont, while in Lombardy ordinary hospitalizations have been suspended due to overcrowding. At a national level there is very strong pressure on all the PSs and in various Regions they have been activated plans against overcrowding by hospitals and healthcare companies. Plans aimed at finding further beds but, since hospital beds are chronically insufficient, in practice all that can be done is taking places away from other specialties, such as surgery. We are trying to guarantee the service, but we find ourselves in an extremely difficult situation. With emergency room doctors who can’t even take a few days off.

Patients on stretchers

They prevail respiratory diseases, especially among the elderly. Covid in slight decline, while the flu rages, but there are various respiratory pathologies also due to other viruses – says De Iaco -. There is still time to get vaccinated, both against the flu and against Covid, and it is important to do so. After the Epiphany, schools will reopen and we expect a further increase in cases. The alert confirmed by president of the Italian company Sistema 118, Mario Balzanelli: in December, compared to the previous month, there was an increase of at least 50% in requests for help to 118 due to Covid but, above all, for cases of influenza with respiratory complications, which are on the rise. Many emergency medical points in the area are closed due to lack of staff – continues Balzanelli -. People are therefore asking for help on 118 and this is causing a situation of alarming clogging. Ambulances arrive at hospitals, but cannot leave patients due to lack of space. People remain on stretchers in emergency vehicles outside hospitals for hours and this effectively leads to a blockade of 118 activity. It is happening in practice in all the Regions. There is also an increase in requests for help compared to last year, however injuries from firecrackers and stray bullets on New Year’s Evewith an increase in injuries and hospitalizations.

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January 2, 2024 (changed January 2, 2024 | 4:50 pm)



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