There are currently many more corona patients in intensive care than in March and April, at the start of the corona pandemic in the Netherlands. This confirms Diederik Gommers, chairman of the Dutch Association for Intensive Care (NVIC), following reports in the AD.
This is because the length of stay of corona patients in the ICU has become much shorter. In March and April a patient was in the ICU for an average of 22 days, in July and August this had dropped to less than eight, according to figures of the National Intensive Care Evaluation Foundation (NICE).
It should be noted that the figures for July and August may be slightly higher, as a number of those patients were still in IC when the report was written.
“We are still investigating why people can leave the IC faster,” says Gommers. “But if you assume that it concerns a comparable group of patients, then I think an important part can be attributed to the improved treatment.”
Greater chance of survival
The corona patients not only leave the IC faster, the chance of survival has also improved, says Gommers. According to him, there are no indications that the virus has become milder.
“We still need to do more research into the causes, but it is certainly a very promising development,” he says. “We don’t know if there will be a second corona wave and how big it will be, but if it is comparable to the first, we will need to expand the ICs much less.”
Expanding the capacity is difficult, because there is a threat of a large staff shortage. Many IC staff have indicated that they no longer want to work many extra hours during a second wave. In June became known that the intention is to scale up the capacity of the ICs from 1150 to 1350 beds.
Last month it also became clear that treatment in the ICUs has changed and that there are fewer corona patients die. There are currently 43 corona patients in intensive care. In early April, at the height of the crisis, about 1,400 people with corona were in the ICU. A number of them were then admitted to German ICs.