It seems that there are no more doubts since the data are clear: The mortality from Covid-19 is higher “for hypertensive patients, patients with cardiac arrhythmias, diabetics and patients with cardiovascular diseases”.
“These patients can protect themselves by staying at home,” explained Antonio Rebuzzi, professor of Cardiology at the Catholic University of Rome and director of the Cardiological Intensive Care Unit of the Gemelli Polyclinic in the capital.
And more generally, the elderly should stay at home, he told AdnKronos. “These patients can protect themselves by staying at home.” In addition to the elderly, people who already suffer from hypertension, diabetes and cardiac arrhythmias in particular, are the subjects faced with the threat of contracting the new Coronavirus, which has triggered a global pandemic.
To underline the risk taken by patients with these pathologies, the American College of Cardiology which, as reported by Italian daily il Messaggero, had warned patients with heart disease or with diseases related to high blood pressure, to take extra care.
According to data from the Higher Institute of Health (ISS), dating back to March 4, which analyzed the Italian Coronavirus deaths (105 then), 74,6 percent of the sample was hypertensive, 33,8 percent suffered from diabetes mellitus and 70,4 percent had been diagnosed with ischemic heart disease.
In addition to placing the emphasis on the patients most at risk in case of contagion from Covid-19, Professor Rebuzzi highlighted another problem, linked to the epidemic that has affected Italy, among other countries.
“We have an important problem, linked to Covid-19. We are unable to operate, the cardiac surgery is blocked.” The problem is the lack of blood, due to the low turnout of donors: “We have no blood. Donors don’t come for fear of the Coronavirus,” he said.
And he launched an appeal to all Roman citizens: “Please donate blood. One can do it safely”. The cardiologist pointed out that “it will be patients, even serious ones, who will be saved”.
On Saturday, March 14, Italian authorities reported the following alarming figures:
Infected: 21 157
Seriously ill: 1 518
Deceased: 1 441
Recovered: 1 966
They also write that “1441 has died, however, this number can only be confirmed after the Istituto Superiore di Sanità (Higher Institute of Health) has determined the actual cause of death”. It is a rise of 175 in a single day, Emergency Commissioner and Civil Protection Chief Angelo Borrelli said. Borrelli said there were 2 795 new cases in 24 hours.
In the US, Mark Parkinson, the head of the American Health Care Association told CNN: “The sad reality is that for the elderly, Covid-19 is almost a perfect killer machine.”
But both French and Dutch medical professionals are reporting that half of Coronavirus ICU patients are under the age of 60 and 50-years-old respectively. The Atlantic’s Rachel Donadio reported on Saturday that “more than 50 percent of the 300 Covid-19 cases in critical condition in France are under 60”.
Meanwhile in the Netherlands, over half of ill patients are reportedly under 50 years old.
“Today there are between forty and fifty corona patients in critical condition on Dutch intensive care units. More than half of those patients are under fifty years old. There are also young people,” the chairman of the Dutch Association for Intensive Care (NVIC) Diederik Gommers, said in an interview with AD.nl
On Saturday, AD documented the case of a 16-year-old boy with no disclosed underlying conditions who ended up in the ICU after complaining of nausea and headaches. He is currently on ventilation in a medically-induced coma.
“As long as he can’t breathe properly himself, they keep him artificially asleep,” said his 24-year-old brother.
Considering that US hospitals are projected to be completely full by mid-May, the implications of the Coronavirus impacting more than just the elderly are significant.