A doctor in Italy has been arrested after allegations he killed two coronavirus patients to free up beds at the height of the pandemic.
Carlo Mosca, 47, has been accused of giving Natale Bassi, 61, and Angela Paletti, 80, fatal doses of anaesthetics at Montichiari Hospital near Brescia.
The incident supposedly took place in March last year, when Italy hit the headlines for shocking photos which showed COVID 19 patients lining hospital hallways.
Police are also investigating another three deaths after reports Carlo Mosca altered the medical records of patients who died, and he’s now been put under house arrest at his home in Mantua.
He refutes the charges against him, calling the assertions baseless, and legal records relating to the arrest have been released outlining the prosecution’s allegations against him.
They claim messages revealed nurses suspected Mosca of killing patients to make space in the A&E department he headed up.
Prosecutors maintain Mosca administered Succinylcholine and Propofol, which were typically used on the ward to anaesthetise COVID patients so they could have tubes inserted.
However, it’s thought the patients given the drugs never had tubes inserted, so they believe the use of anaesthesia was unnecessary.
The hospital saw a 70 per cent rise in orders of these drugs between November 2019 and April 2020, but only five patients were given tubes during that time.
An anonymous complaint was made at the end of April, and legal documents that contained WhatsApp messages implied that Mosca tried to get nurses to cover his tracks.
The nurses said in messages to each other: ‘Did he ask you to administer the drugs without intubating them?’, ‘I’m not killing patients just because he wants to free up the beds,’ and, ‘This is crazy.’
Prosecutors added that when he found out he was under investigation Mosca asked nurses to agree on a convenient version of the story while prompting them to declare falsehoods.
Lawyers also claim he asked co-workers to leave the room when he administered the drugs, and one nurse said that this had never happened to her before.
Natale, a diabetic who suffered from heart disease, died on March 20 and Angelo died two days later.
Mosca was charged with murder and distorting the death records, amid allegations that he edited the clinical data to make the patient appear terminal and therefore not to arouse suspicion.
If this is true, there isn’t a punishment that would be severe enough for this guy. Perhaps he believed he was doing a good thing. The difference being is that he’s now been arrested, so they must have some shred of proof – also the nurse’s suspected foul play.
And doctors have admitted that the most vulnerable patients could be refused life-saving care due to the lack of funding for the NHS.
Under a so-called three wise men protocol, three senior consultants in each hospital would be forced to make decisions on rationing care such as ventilators and beds, in the event hospitals were flooded with patients.
And medics have spoken out amid frustration over what one said was the Government’s dishonest spin that the health service was well equipped for a major pandemic outbreak, and the CQC said that do not resuscitate orders were made in the COVID wave and some may still be in place – this is unacceptable.
There’s also proof that unacceptable and improper do not attempt cardiopulmonary resuscitation orders (DNACRPs) were made at the start of the pandemic and some may still be in place.
And an interim report from the government-commissioned review, the watchdog said it saw an uptick in complaints about DNACPRs through the first wave, receiving 40 complaints between March and September compared to only nine similar concerns in the previous six months.