Coronavirus to keep ICUs busy for months; other patients at risk, Brabant doctor says
Intensive care units throughout the Netherlands will be filled with coronavirus patients for months yet to come, Nico van ’t Hullenaar, a Pulmonologist at the Bernhoven Hospital in Uden, expects. And it is not only patients with Covid-19 who will die due to this virus, he said to NRC.
With normal pneumonia, patients are in intensive care for an average of one week, Van ’t Hullenaar said to the newspaper. With the coronavirus, they're in ICU an average of two or three weeks, as can be seen in other countries. And recovering from ICU to healthy takes time. "You have to recover from a day of intensive care for a week, on average. From three weeks of IC, you have to recover 21 weeks."
He therefore expects that hospitals will have their hands full with coronavirus patients for months yet to come. "And the mortality will not be only in corona patients. Others too will die because they don't get the care they normally would," Van ’t Hullenaar said. Chemotherapy in particular is being postponed, as are necessary surgeries that are not urgent. "Is it justified to start chemotherapy now, we wonder. That breaks down your resistance. So that makes people extra vulnerable."
The only positive thing about this outbreak, according to Van ’t Hullenaar, is the solidarity between doctors and nurses, hospitals and the different departments therein. "We pulmonologists do shift work with the internists 24/7. We are called for advice from cardiologists, ENT doctors, pediatricians. They all see corona patients."