Because they simply do not have enough Intensive Care facilities and people to go around. Elderly Will Be Denied Intensive Care as Coronavirus Overwhelms Italy’s National Health System, Experts Warn.
People keep saying “it is all a fraud.” Tell that to the Italians, especially in the North. The Italian military is trying to move some patients to the southern part of the country, where the hospitals are not over-crowded, and the staff still has some energy. See the Johns Hopkins COVID-19 Dashboard at this link.
Italy has been rocked by the still not-well-understood COVID-29, with more than 12,000 confirmed cases and 827 deaths at publishing time—second only to China—and 16 million residents currently under quarantine. [SNIP]
Rationing health care is nothing new in Italy and in fact has become an “established trend” in recent years amid an ongoing economic crisis that has strained government resources, including the government-run healthcare system.
“In a context of grave shortage of medical resources, the allocation criteria need to guarantee that those patients with the highest chance of therapeutic success will retain access to intensive care. It’s a matter of giving priority to ‘the highest hope of life and survival,'” the health experts explain.
See below for the quote, but it looks like 10 percent of infected patients need to be put on ventilator. That can be a big number, depending on how wide-spread the disease becomes.
The original (Italian) document is at the following link. Raccomandazioni di etica clinica per l’ammissione a trattamenti intensivi e per la loro sospensione
The Google Translate version (which isn’t bad considering…) is at this link. Clinical ethics recommendations for admission to intensive treatments and for their suspension
From the data for the first two weeks in Italy, about one tenth of infected patients require a intensive treatment with assisted ventilation, invasive or non-invasive
A Twitter thread, at which an actual human does the translating can be found at the following…
UPDATE: The latest numbers from Italy at 20:15 on 13 March 2020: 17,660 confirmed cases with 1266 deaths. That is a 7 percent mortality rate, which either indicates that Italians are especially at risk (they are on average older than the average European), or they have not come close to identifying all the cases. Like by half.