"Gradual decline" in ICU patients nationwide; Still tough in N. Brabant
There were 1,338 patients being treated in intensive care units for Covid-19, the respiritory illness caused by the 2019 novel coronavirus. The total number of ICU patients was a decrease of 20 compared to a day earlier, according to the LCPS, the temporary office coordinating intensive care patient distribution.
It was the fourth time in six days that a decrease was recorded. "The picture of a gradual decline appears to be stable. That is encouraging," said Ernst Kuipers, the chair of the Dutch acute care network.
Just over 26,500 people in the Netherlands have tested positive for coronavirus, of which around 8,750 have required hospitalization. So far, about 2,300 people have been treated in intensive care for Covid-19 since the end of February. Of these, over 425 have died, and over 200 have been discharged.
Despite recent decreases in Covid-19 patients in ICUs throughout the Netherlands, the pressure on intensive care units in Noord-Brabant remains high, a spokesperson for the regional council for acute care ROAZ said to Omroep Brabant on Monday. Five Covid-19 patients were transferred from Noord-Brabant ICUs to ICUs in the rest of the Netherlands over the past 24 hours. And that transfer of patients remains essential for hospitals in the province, the spokesperson said.
"The pressure remains unprecedentedly high. We are still working with considerably more ICU places than we normally do," the ROAZ spokesperson said. "We are seeing the number of intensive care patients slowly falling, but we are not there yet."
Germany has provided some relief for Dutch hospitals struggling under the weight of so many Covid-19 patients. German hospitals were treating 55 of the Dutch ICU patients on Monday, and as more bed space becomes available in the Netherlands those patients will gradually return to Dutch facilities.
It also means that eventually patients can return to a medical facility closer to their home if they were transported from a busy hospital to an emptier medical center further away. "We are receiving more requests for transfers, also within the Netherlands. Usually these are to regions that are still congested," Kuipers said.
"That is why we could not respond to those requests very often. As the occupancy of ICU beds continues to decline we can try to honor those requests."