Due to a sudden increase in the number of coronavirus patients in Brabant’s hospitals, hospitals are having to cancel or postpone some of their ‘normal care’ procedures. Between 5 and 10 per cent of low priority operations will be cancelled.
Bart Berden, chairman of the Regional Acute Care Consultation, calls the situation ‘painful’. He says that the patients from those 5 to 10 per cent of operations can expect their cancellation letters next week. ‘It’s a rotten situation,’ he says.
Number of ICU patients doubled
The cancellations are due to the sharp increase in hospital and ICU admissions in the region. Last week Wednesday, there were 80 coronavirus patients occupying hospital beds in the Catharina Hospital. Yesterday, that figure was 136. The number of ICU patients has almost doubled: in one week it increased from 18 to 32.
‘It is incredibly busy,’ Berden says. ‘To give some context: the number of coronavirus patients that are now in the ICU is more than a quarter of the regular ICU capacity.’
1.5 metre rule
To try to stem the spread of infection and hospital admissions, Berden calls for restrictions to be re-introduced in society. He says he is curious yet looking forward to the government’s planned press conference next Tuesday.
‘From washing hands to wearing masks: everything that can help us reduce the pressure on the hospitals is appreciated. The 1.5 metre rule helped us a lot in the past. In any case, we cannot afford to leave things how they are now,’ Beurden says.
Brabant hospitals are said to be preparing for further increase in patient numbers as winter draws near. Berden says they cannot turn patients away and must accept all patients who need care: ‘You cannot turn away someone who is so sick that they had to be taken to hospital. That is morally irresponsible.’
Source: Omroep Brabant
Translation: Rachael Vickerman