Emergency departments overwhelmed in Italy because of the flu: can the same thing happen in Europe?

Emergency departments overwhelmed in Italy because of the flu: can the same thing happen in France?

The situation of hospitals in Italy is worrying. As the number of infections continues to grow, emergency rooms are saturated and hospitals are struggling to cope with the situation.

It is a variant of the flu virus – in addition to Covid infections and other bronchiolitis – which has created this situation, which is worrying to say the least, in Italy. Indeed, the number of infected patients continues to increase and faced with this, hospitals are struggling to meet demand.

Emergency services under heavy pressure

According to the latest epidemiological bulletin from the Italian Higher Institute of Health, “l“The influenza epidemic curve showed an incidence value never reached during previous seasons”.

A situation which creates great pressure on the emergency departments of Italian hospitals, which seem on the verge of collapse. As Fabio de Laco, president of the Italian Society of Emergency Medicine and Emergency Care (Simeu), confirms, there is currently “an ‘overcrowding’ in hospitals and a very strong pressure on emergency services”.

A new variant, from the flu virus

How to explain this situation ? A new variant of the flu virus could possibly be involved, coupled with the already present infections of Covid-19 and the RSV virus, responsible for bronchiolitis.

In Spain too, the country, under tension in the face of the increase in infections in several regions of the country, has decided to reactivate the obligation to wear masks in hospitals and health centers. A situation feared by doctors, who have alerted the authorities for several days, in vain.

What about in Europe?

If the situation is not as catastrophic in Europe, the structural problem of hospitals is the same, according to Dr Gérald Kierzek, emergency doctor and medical director of TipsForWomens.

Spain and Italy, like Europe, are facing an aging population. This demographic transition was not anticipated to allow hospitals to cope. These patients require beds because they are fragile, due to the other pathologies they generally carry. expose Gérald Kierzek. “A virus like the flu is therefore enough to require their hospitalization“.

This structural crisis risks recurring, according to the doctor. “Today it’s the flu, yesterday it was Covid and tomorrow it will be a heatwave” he notes. “The fragility of the population coupled with the fragility of the hospital will always result in this type of health crisis.”

So what to do? For the medical director of TipsForWomens, it is necessary “strengthen the capacities of the public hospital by opening additional beds“and in a longer time,”focus on prevention, so that the next generation ages better“.