Reggio Calabria, the sad story of the 44-year-old man from Locride who died two days ago in the intensive care unit of the GOM
Two days ago, Wednesday 18 November, the GOM of Reggio Calabria announced the death of a 44-year-old man in the daily bulletin on the Covid-19 emergency “died of a severe head injury for which he had been hospitalized“, But counted among the deaths from Coronavirus as a positive for the swab.
We delved into the story of this man to understand if he really died from Covid-19 and why he was included in the count of the victims of the pandemic despite the fact that the cause of death is likely another. Dr. Sebastiano Macheda, head of the Reanimation Department of the GOM, confirms that “the death occurred from the severe head injury with which the patient arrived in the ward“, Excluding that Covid-19 may have aggravated the situation. But all the same Macheda specifies that according to the ministerial and regional protocols, all those who are positive and die in the Covid-19 wards must be communicated, albeit with all the specifics of the case, and it will then be the Ministry to validate or deny the real causes of death.
“This man – he explained to us Macheda – arrived already intubated and with artificial respiration, in very serious condition due to a terrible head injury from the Locri hospital. It was already positive, but paucisymptomatic. He had had a bit of a headache, a fever, nothing special. He was at home, he didn’t need hospital treatment. Obviously we had to hospitalize and treat him in the Covid-19 ward, even if his problem had nothing to do with the pandemic, but it was positive so if we had taken him to the classic intensive care he could have infected the other patients. Unfortunately there was nothing to do, we made an intervention but the situation was too critical. Nobody saw what happened, but most likely the man fell dead weight backwards, I guess following an illness. To say if that illness could have been caused by Covid-19 or not is impossible, but I would tend to exclude it because he had no particular problems from the infection, he was fine, he was at home. He may have had a dizziness, an illness, but surely he fell backwards without the awareness of being able to protect himself with his hands, because he violently banged his head with the back of his neck. He had several fractures in his skull, in addition to the main one, also from recoil. An extreme situation. But he died in the Covid-19 ward, he was Covid positive and therefore we must count him among the dead of the pandemic according to the existing protocols, or at least we must communicate it as a hospital, then it will be up to the Ministry to decide. Certainly his respiratory and lung parameters were good, he had no respiratory failure even when he was hospitalized with severe head trauma while we were desperately trying to recover it. All the other indicators were good, so much so that we observed him for brain death and all the other organs were fully functional“.
The story of the 44-year-old from Reggio is particularly touching: married with 3 children, the man had been released from prison for ten days thanks to a full acquittal, “because the fact does not exist“. He had been unjustly in prison for three very long years. After such a heavy judicial ordeal, he died suddenly. To the point that the judge asked for further investigations on the body by arranging the autopsy.
Regardless of the pandemic and the count of deaths from Covid-19 or Covid-19, this terrible story reminds us that behind every number that by now in an excessively cold way we tell every day among the dead, healed, hospitalized, discharged etc. there is the story of men, women and their families to whom goes the greatest closeness and a warm and sincere hug of condolence in cases where the epilogue of a bad accident or illness proves fatal.
And there are other men and other women who watch over us 24 hours a day as guardian angels at the service of the community to protect the most important asset we have, our health, with extraordinary sacrifices and professionalism.