Less space is needed in intensive care units (ICs) to receive corona patients, because patients spend less time in the ICU compared to March and April. This confirms Diederik Gommers, chairman of the Dutch Association for Intensive Care (NVIC), Tuesday to NU.nl after reporting from De Gelderlander.
In the months of March and April, most corona patients were on the ic. According to Gommers, the average hospital stay of a patient was then 22 days. In May and June this had dropped to about sixteen days.
More patients will also survive if they are placed on the IC. In March and April almost 30 percent of the corona patients who came to the ICU died, now that is 15 percent.
According to Gommers, the shorter hospital stay means that fewer IC beds are needed than during the peak in March and April. A condition is that patients do not all need IC care at the same time.
“During the peak (in March and April, ed.) We had 1,400 COVID patients in the ICU and there were another 350 non-COVID patients. So we needed more than seventeen hundred beds,” said Gommers. “For example, a new peak would now only require 700 IC beds for people with COVID. If they don’t all come in at the same time.”
Shorter hospital stay presumably due to other treatment
The cause for the shorter length of stay of corona patients in intensive care is still being sought, but Gommers suspects that this is due to other treatment methods. “It is likely that it is due to other therapies, but it cannot be said with certainty yet.”
At the end of July, Gommers said already in conversation with NU.nl that the administration of blood thinners and dexamethasone, for example, allows corona patients to recover faster than in the spring, when these drugs were not yet given.
According to Gommers, “the spaces have been physically created” to increase the capacity of the intensive care units, but “there is no way to open a window with enough nurses”. “We try to give it a good interpretation in terms of staff, but where we are now cannot be expressed in a number. Every little bit helps.”