Covid, Giarratano: «Hospitalizations are decreasing. Now the color system becomes simpler “

from Margherita De Bac

The president of Siaarti: “Some Regions, in order not to be restricted, declare beds that can be activated but not real”. For the unvaccinated Omicron is as dangerous as Delta

“There is an undoubted drop in hospitalizations. Our departments are emptying, as expected. We are in the recovery phase of the number of beds and we expect it to improve. The health personnel are very tried, the fourth wave was very tough also due to the great commitment dedicated to no vax patients, not always easy to manage ».

Antonello Giarratano, president of Siaarti (Italian Society of Anesthesia and Reanimation) scrolls the images of about two months of contrast to the Omicron variant.

Did the vaccine make the difference?

«I report the data collected by the sentinel system of our society. The average hospital stay of this wave is 14 days for the unvaccinated and 9 for the frail vaccinated. Unfortunately, 25% of the latter did not make it, 75% were discharged, then healed. Of the unvaccinated, 39% died, rising to 65% when, in addition to having no protection, these people presented frailty linked to age or other pathologies (read the update on vaccinations here) “.

Omicron lighter than Delta?

“From our observatory it has been seen that Omicron is still dangerous and in fact in some intensive therapies it was the cause of infection of 50% of unvaccinated intubated patients”.

How are you getting out?

“The staff can’t take it anymore. We are stressed, we suffer organizational models that in certain regions are not up to par, to put it mildly, and follow political logics distant from health care. According to our research in some disciplines 60% of operators suffer from burnout. We are exhausted from a psycho-physical point of view, especially in the emergency areas ».

Is the color system okay?

«It must be changed but not canceled. It remains essential to protect public health and the economy. The yellow, orange and red have gradually limited the mobility of citizens, therefore the spread of the virus, the growth of the infection and the number of deaths “.

Isn’t that the case anymore?

The coloring made sense before vaccination but from 1 January 2021 and especially after the first half of the same year, the first tool to contain the epidemic has become vaccination which reduces the risk of developing serious forms of Covid, therefore hospitalizations and deaths. In our opinion, this pattern did not work in the third and fourth waves. There is no point in introducing color restrictions when the hospitals have already filled up and therefore the emergency is triggered. If anything, it makes sense to do it earlier: today they would be limited to that 10% of the unvaccinated population who then overloads our hospitals “.

The proverb says: close the stable after the oxen have fled.

“Exactly so. Do you know what happened from the moment it was decided to articulate the coloring of the Regions based on the percentage of beds occupied in the intensive care unit and in the wards? “


Regions that feared the vote in the report card of their respective health systems have worked hard to find places that can only be activated on paper, i.e. potentially existing and that would be opened only by suspending other services. This is called authorized bedding-in. ‘

There are those who would like to abolish yellow and orange and save red. What do you think?

“Crazy. In the event of a new wave, it would expect to reach 30% of beds occupied in intensive care before introducing containment measures and 30% would be calculated on places that are not real but “activated” ».

So what do you propose?

We transform the color system into a prevention mechanism, releasing it from political-administrative concerns and bringing it back to the center of health concerns, anchored to the numbers of real and non-fictitious beds. This approach would not negatively affect the economic recovery of the country and of the individual regions “.

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