Brabant hospitals: ‘We will have to scale down normal care again’

Brabant hospitals are concerned about the rising corona figures. A quarter of the usual care is now canceled and that will probably increase in the near future. The number of intensive care beds has been scaled up almost as much as possible to 200. Bart Berden, chairman of the Regional Consultation Acute Care (ROAZ), told Omroep Brabant.

For weeks, the corona situation in the Brabant hospitals was stable, although the pressure on corona departments remained consistently high despite the strict lockdown. This has changed for two weeks. Not only did the number of corona patients in hospitals increase rapidly towards 400, but with 109 most corona patients are in intensive care since the first wave in the spring of 2020.

Not fine statistics. Certainly in view of contamination figures that are also on the rise. Because the rule of thumb is: the more corona infections are now detected, the higher the number of hospital admissions will be in a week or two. And so Berden is again concerned as a hospital administrator.

Full intensive care
“Currently 200 intensive care beds are operational in our province, while we normally have 120. So we have expanded enormously. The difference with the first wave is that we now also do a lot of non-corona care. As a result, both the corona and non-corona ICs are almost completely full. That worries us ”, says Berden.

Even if the hospitals would like to: scaling up corona care without canceling ordinary care is not possible, according to Berden. The rack is out. “We will have to make critical choices. Now 25 percent has been scaled down. In comparison, during the second wave it was 60 percent. It’s about people we don’t want to keep waiting again. ”

First vaccination effect
Berden cannot predict how much extra care the hospitals will have to cancel. But it is almost certain that this will increase. “We think that the number of admissions will rise again by 10 percent next week. But I don’t know what exactly we end up with. That also has to do with how quickly we vaccinate people. ”

Let that just be a point of discussion. According to many critics, the piercing is too slow. And Berden is not happy with it either. Even though it became clear in February that with vaccination alone, the Netherlands would not escape a third wave.

However, the first vaccination effects are also visible in hospitals. Many people over 80 have been vaccinated against the corona virus. Fewer of them are in intensive care than before. With people between 55 and 80 years old, there are now somewhat younger people. It may sound strange to call that positive, but according to the ROAZ chairman this proves that vaccination works. Berden: “So we want the injection rate to increase.”

‘Sun is killing for the virus’
How can we – with a more contagious corona variant that is circulating – in addition to vaccinating, than ensure that the pressure on hospitals and other care is reduced? Berden mentions two things. “The weather is getting to improve. Sun and higher temperatures are killing for the virus. That effect is powerful. ” But more importantly: “Stick to the rules better, even if we find it difficult.”

All in all, it is not a nice Easter message, just before another weekend that we normally like to celebrate together. Berden: “We will have to adapt. Although there is light at the end of the tunnel that vaccination is an effective strategy.
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