Dutch intensive care wards will be able to cope with around three times as many patients as they did in March and April at the height of the coronavirus pandemic, according to Diederik Gommers, head of the acute services association NVIC.
Capacity is larger because the amount of time people are spending in intensive care has gone down sharply – from an average of 22 days to around eight.
‘We are still looking into it, but this appears to be the case,’ Gommers told the AD. ‘Of course, we don’t know if there will be a second wave and how big it will be, but if it is similar to the first, then we will not have to expand IC capacity as much as we did.’
Health minister Hugo de Jonge last week said he was concerned about IC capacity if there is a second wave. In April, some 1,400 people were being treated in IC wards, and some patients had to be transferred to German hospitals.
Dutch hospitals have some 1,150 intensive care beds between them.
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