Emergency operation rooms in Milan were overwhelmed on Wednesday as the escalating influx of COVID-19 patients threatened hospital capacity in Italy's second-largest city.
Health workers in Milan's Niguarda hospital expressed their concerns over the rising number of infections and the pressure exerted on hospital capacity, with patients waiting in ambulances for hours before being transferred inside for treatment.
«There is no room, there is physically no room,» said one health worker. «If I have five patients and my room holds five, I might even take the sixth, seventh or eighth, but if they need oxygen, where do you connect it?»
«The severity of the patients who call us has increased,» said Niguarda's Head of Regional Emergency Operations Alessandra Sforza. «The green codes, the minor codes, have decreased in comparison to an increase, unfortunately, in yellow and red codes.»
«We are sending ambulances to emergency rooms that could also be in Cremona, Pavia, Treviglio, Bergamo and so forth because unfortunately there are no available hospital beds in Milan,» Sforza was seen telling one patient on the phone.
On Friday, residents of Lombardy began a newly imposed lockdown alongside other Italian regions defined as 'red zones,' which have been the worst-hit by the second COVID-19 wave in the peninsula.
As of Wednesday Italy has reported over 995,463 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 42,330 related deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University.