«In essence, therefore, on May 26, 2021, Dr. Vitaliano expressed a behavior imperishable, imprudent and negligent“. It is one of the key steps of the super-expertise ordered by the court of Vicenza to shed light ondeath of the singer Michele Merlo.
The bruise and the bandage
The artist from Vicenza, 28 yearsformer competitor by Amici and X Factordied for one fulminant leukemia on June 6 last year. With the hypothesis of manslaughter it is under investigation Pantaleo Vitalianothe general practitioner (with an office in Rosà) to which Merlo had addressed, showing him the large bruise that for at least ten days had appeared on the thigh left. It was the symptom of the disease that was killing him, but on May 26 the specialist treated him by applying a bandage of zinc oxide and sent it home with the diagnosis of “muscle tear”recommending him to come back for a check-up (to which the singer didn’t show up) “after 3-5 days”.
The reconstruction of the course
The investigation of the Vicenza prosecutor’s office revolves around this: Vitaliano got the diagnosis wrong? And did his mistake cost Michele Merlo his life? The crucial step of the investigation was precisely there super expertise for which they were commissioned the coroner Antonello Cirnelli and the oncologist Valter Bortolussi. For months, the two specialists have been re-examining the fabric samples taken after death and analyzed photos, e-mails and testimonies thus reconstructing the evolution of the diseasewhose signs – they discovered – date back to May 7 when “the first hematomas appeared on the body on the right deltoid and left forearm”.
“Symptoms may be nonspecific”
The 49 pages of the report, filed at the end of August, confirm the rumors leaked in recent days: Merlo could have been saved. But they also add much more. Experts point out that leukemia is “one deceptive disease“And for this very reason” the index of suspicion on the part of the doctor “in the trenches”, like a general practitioner, must necessarily be very high, also because at the onset symptoms can be nonspecific“. Translated: doctors must never underestimate the appearance of signals compatible with leukemia because “the therapies are able, in most cases, to provide excellent results, provided however that there is the possibility of intervene in good time“.
“He had to be sent to the emergency room”
Well, the experts analyzed a photo that would show that «May 26th the hematoma in the left thigh was very extensive, but also that there were other hematomas in other parts of the body which had occurred for more than two weeks ». At that moment Vitaliano certainly could not diagnose leukemia “but he certainly could realize that the case was very suspicious and therefore deserving of immediate referral of the patient in emergency room“Where he would have been subjected toblood analysis which would have confirmed the hypothesis of the disease. Not only: “The diagnosis of muscle tear is absolutely irrelevant and therefore incorrect (…) The age of the patient, the characteristics of the hematoma in the thigh and injuries at the same time also present on other body districts, also in relation to the initial times of appearance (from 7 May), they did not allow us to consider a traumatic etiology justified ». The opinion of the experts leaves no doubt: «From the temporal point of view we know that on 26 May Merlo was to be immediately sent to the emergency room and subjected to a blood count ». Hence the conviction that the behavior of Dr. Vitaliano (defended by the lawyer Andrea Biasia) “is reprehensible by way of inexperience, imprudence and negligence“.
Experts: “A causal link is not demonstrable”
The second question remains: with the right diagnosis, would Merlo have survived? If the therapy is activated in time, “patients who die within thirty days are 5-10 percent “. Therefore it is plausible that, subjected to treatment, Merlo would have been saved but obviously the hypothesis that alethal bleeding. Consequentially “it is not possible to demonstrate in terms of certainty or high probability – the court experts write – a causal link between Dr. Vitaliano’s guilt profiles and Merlo’s death ». On 29 September the parties will meet to discuss the outcome of the report. It will then be up to the prosecutor to determine whether the chances of survival of the 28-year-old, in the event of a correct diagnosis, were high enough to justify a trial for manslaughter. “The Merlo family – is the only comment of their ‘lawyer, Marco Dal Ben – is convinced that the young Michele could and should be saved”.CopyAMP code.
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September 17, 2022 (change September 17, 2022 | 07:30)
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