Shortage of beds in specialist child intensive care wards


Intensive care wards for very sick children are currently filled with youngsters suffering from serious breathing problems, including the RS virus, specialists have warned.

Experts from the seven academic hospitals with specialist units are meeting later on Tuesday to discuss if additional measures will be necessary, Károly Illy from the Dutch paediatricians’ association, told broadcaster NOS.

The RS virus is the most common cold virus in young children and there is a peak in the number of infections every winter, according to public health institute RIVM. In most cases, the infection is mild but one in 1,000 children who catch it and have been taken to their family doctor because of the symptoms end up in an IC ward.

Renze Jongstra, an IC specialist from nursing association V&VN, described the current situation as dramatic.

Not only has there been a shortage of specialist nurses on child IC units for years, but this year more children are picking up infections.

‘That means beds are filled as soon as they become empty,’ he said. ‘Sometimes we are ringing round for a day to find a bed.’

Thank you for donating to

We could not provide the Dutch News service, and keep it free of charge, without the generous support of our readers. Your donations allow us to report on issues you tell us matter, and provide you with a summary of the most important Dutch news each day.

Make a donation