Corriere Della Sera: The hospital in Reggio Calabria, Italy resorted to an unusual alternative to orthopaedic casts as the emergency service was running short of plaster supplies. Patients with broken limbs were treated, instead, with makeshift cardboard casts while they waited for the hospital’s orthopaedic department to open the morning after.
Dr Gianluigi Scaffidi said he received photos showing patients lying down in stretchers with broken arms, legs and feet enveloped in cardboard casts and fastened with bandages.
“You don’t even see this situation in Africa nowadays, and yet we’re witnessing it in an Italian city of 200,000 residents,” said the retired doctor who worked in the Reggio Calabria hospital for 40 years.
An even greater problem than lack of supplies, explains Dr Scaffidi, is lack of staff due to slashed budget allocations to the health sector. The orthopaedic department cannot handle all-night activity and closes at 20:00, so patients who come in with fractures later have to wait until the following day to be seen by a specialist.