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“Internet underworld”, “quality transition to death”: PM and Tsiodras stun Greeks

Greek Prime Minister called “internet underworld” media that recently revealed that half of Covid-19 deaths take place in normal hospital wards and not in Intensive Care Units. In full support of the PM, professor for Infectious Diseases Sotiris Tsiodras even spoke of “quality transition to death” if a patient is not intubated.

Speaking at a live press conference on Thursday and while announcing a 3-week lockdown across the country, Mitsotakis said:

“I saw circulating in the internet underworld that patients do not die in ICUs but in wards. Many times the families themselves choose to intubate patients with a foreseeable death.”

He added that he is describing “different cases than those in Italy” where doctors choose according to the so-called triage scheme. “This will not happen in Greece. The measures will pay off,” Mitsotakis underlined.

Who is the internet underworld, the PM spoke about? Not some random post on Facebook or some claim on Twitter.

It was reputable newspaper To Vima that revealed  beginning of the week that 51% of the Covid-19 patients die outside the ICUs.

Citing official documents, to vima wrote that although there are available ICU beds a significantly big number of OCVI-patient remain outside the ICUs even though their health condition is deteriorating.

“State officials and epidemiologists note that in some cases the choice to not trasnfer Covid-patients to ICU depends on other underlying issues they have, something that makes this trasnfer from problematic to vain.”

The 11-page document refers to the period October 19-25. Of the 63 people with average age 82 who died “31(49.21%) were intubated in ICUs and 32 (50.79%) were in clinic wards outside ICUs.”

The country’s top epidemiologist, professor for Infectious Diseases Sotiris Tsiodras who was present at the press conference supported Mitsotakis saying that the same happens with patients infected with seasonal flu and doctors face the decision of intubation and ICU admission every year.

In consultation with patients’ relatives, doctors do not opt for these because simply [intubation and ICU] “prolong the death process,” Tsiodras said speaking of a “quality transition to death.”

Tsiodras claimed further that “ICUs were not enough at the peak of seasonal flu,” however, without elaborating to which year or month he was referring to.

The “internet underworld” by Mitsotakis and Tsiodras’ “quality transition to death” triggered strong on social media.

Many internet users pointed out that Tsiodras was calling the Prime Minister “President” [of New Democracy], while Mitsotakis called the professor with first name “Sotiris” thus downgrading him.

Others criticized that it looked as if the professor is not an independent epidemiologist but somebody affiliated with the ruling party.

And some wondered that it was up to relatives to decide whether a patient would be intubated or not.

PS measures may pay off but not arrogance…

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One comment

  1. This may sound harsh but in reality it can be an act of kindness. Intubation is not a cure all for seriously ill patients; It also requires that the patient is sufficiently robust to regain their health after the process. Intubating somebody who does not have a chance of returning to good health is cruel and pointless, it simply prolongs death rather than saving life.