Coronavirus patients with serious symptoms are spending less time in intensive care and are less likely to die during the second wave than during the first, according to an analysis by the Dutch intensive care foundation Nice.
Some 531 people are currently being treated on an IC ward for coronavirus, and since the pandemic began, 8401 people have spent time in intensive care.
On average, patients now spend 15 days in IC, compared with 21 days during the first wave. One in five will now die, compared with three in 10 during the early part of last year, the figures show.
The research also shows that around 30% of IC coronavirus patients are under the age of 60. ‘People have an image of only older patients in IC, but there are a lot of younger ones,’ foundation chairman Dave Dongelmans said.
The better results from treatment come because there is now more expertise about the virus, he said: ‘We have better medicine and we know better how to treat people.
The number of men in IC wards outstrips the number of women by 72% to 28%. Some 42% are overweight and 34% considered to be obese.
Fewer patients also require breathing apparatus – 30% compared with 50% during the first wave.