• A viral post on Facebook shows a 4-year-old in ICU in Wisconsin with COVID-19
  • Doctors in Italy have been trying desperately to clear the misconception that younger people do not suffer as badly as the elderly
  • Younger people have a higher survival rate but often require intensive care to survive

A viral post on Facebook is showing the world that age does not matter when it comes to the possibility of requiring intensive care if you catch COVID-19. The post claims a 4-year-old is in a Wisconsin ICU with COVID-19 after being sent home three days ago.

Early Monday morning, Lawana Love Reliford uploaded two pictures to her Facebook of her 4-year-old granddaughter in ICU with COVID-19. The caption with the post reads, “ST JOES SENT HER HOME 3 DAYS AGO AND NOW THE VIRUS HAS SET UP IN BOTH OF HER LUNGS AND SHE’S IN ICU! Please pray for my baby.”

Wisconsin ICU COVID-19

The post has been shared over 10,000 times and is hopefully raising awareness for those who seem to believe COVID-19 is only a threat for the elderly. Doctors in Italy have been trying to warn people against the misconception that young people do not suffer as badly from COVID-19. Reliford’s claim of sending her granddaughter home only for things to get worse highlights a fear that is quickly becoming a reality for Americans. The American health care system is simply not prepared to handle this pandemic.

Dr. Antonio Pesenti, the head of Lombardy’s intensive crisis care unit told SKY News, “50% of our patients in the intensive care unit, which are the most severe patients, are over 65-years-old.” Pesenti went on to say, “But that means that the other 50% of our patients are younger than 65.” Pesenti said they have many patients between 20 and 30-years-old who “are severe like the old ones.” The only difference between the young and the old is that younger are people are typically healthier so they have a higher survival rate.

Doctors in Italy have also urged doctors in other countries to reevaluate how they are treating patients in a study released on Saturday. Medical staff from Papa Giovanni XXIII Hospital in Bergamo — a brand-new state-of-the-art facility with 48 intensive care beds at the epicenter of the Italian COVID-19 epidemic — warned Western doctors of the problems they faced as COVID-19 tore through Italy.

The brand new hospital is now highly contaminated, with 300 of the 900 beds occupied by COVID-19 patients and 70% of their ICU beds are reserved for critically ill COVID-19 patients with a reasonable chance to survive. “The situation here is dismal as we operate well below our normal standard care.” Wait times in the hospital for an intensive care bed has grown to hours. “Older patients are not being resuscitated and die alone without the appropriate palliative care, while the family is notified over the phone, often by a well-intentioned, exhausted, and emotionally depleted physician with no prior contact.”

Surrounding hospitals are on the verge of collapsing in Italy due to overcrowding and a lack of medications, ventilators, oxygen, and personal protective equipment. Patients are forced to lay on mattresses on the floor while the health care system struggles to deal with regular services, such as child delivery. “Western health care systems have been built around the concept of patient-centered care, but an epidemic requires a change of perspective towards a concept of community-centered care.”

In Italy, they are quickly learning that hospitals are possibly the main COVID-19 carriers due to being constantly overcrowded with infected patients and transmitting the virus to uninfected patients. Patients transferred by ambulance spreads the disease to the ambulance and the personnel. These doctors suggest a “massive deployment of outreach services” could have helped avoid some of these issues. In other words, treating people at home avoids unnecessary movements and removes stress from hospitals.

Early oxygen therapy, pulse oximeters, and nutrition can be delivered to the homes of mildly ill and convalescent patients, setting up a broad surveillance system with adequate isolation and leveraging innovative telemedicine instruments.

The outbreak is being called a public health and humanitarian crisis that highlights the world’s lack of tactical planning to contain and halt an outbreak like COVID-19. Even though COVID-19 is not particularly lethal, it is extremely contagious. The more medicalized and centralized the society, the more COVID-19 can spread. “Coronavirus is the Ebola of the rich and requires a coordinated transnational effort.”

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