Italy, Spain ICU pressures decline, but emotional toll rises

 Medical staff tend to patients at the intensive care unit of the Casalpalocco COVID-19 Clinic on the outskirts of Rome.
Domenico Stinellis/AP Photo

Date Published: April 8, 2020

Source: AP News

The recent decline in new COVID-19 cases in Spain and Italy have eased the pressure on intensive care units; however, the emotional and psychological toll on physicians and nurses has just begun to come to light. In Italy, hospitals are holding group therapy sessions to help staff cope, therapists and online platforms are providing free consultations, and the national association of nurses and psychologists have asked the government for a nationwide response for the mental health care needs of medical personnel. According to Dr. Alessandro Colombo, who is researching the psychological toll of COVID-19 on medical personnel, there is an overwhelming sense of failure among hospital staff. Similar feelings have been echoed by medical personnel in Spain, with one physician describing the sense of helplessness as crushing when watching patients deteriorate in just hours.

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Summary by: Christina Blagojevic