ICU expert says Dutch hospitals in Covid trouble; Warns of "Code black situation"
Dutch Association for Intensive Care chair Diederik Gommers said he feared the country was approaching a "Code Black" situation, where hospitals have to choose between patients for the last remaining ICU admissions. "We are afraid that next week we might end up at code black if the number of infections does not drop quickly. This morning we had a national meeting, where colleagues really indicated that we are really heading that way," Gommers said during his weekly podcast.
According to Gommers, many essential procedures are already being postponed nationwide due to the large number of Covid-19 patients being admitted.
"Chemotherapy is being canceled and many cancer operations and open-heart operations must now be canceled. You do not want to postpone these operations for more than six weeks, as consequences could be bad."
Dutch hospitals were treating 839 patients with Covid-19 in intensive care units on Thursday afternoons. That was close to a high for the year, including the end of the first wave of infections.
One hard hit medical center is the St. Jansdal hospital in Harderwijk, which decided to postpone all surgeries scheduled for the upcoming two weeks due to the increased influx of Covid-19 patients their intensive care units have been seeing, local broadcaster Omroep Flevoland reported.
In order to continue to be able to treat Covid-19 and acute care patients, the hospital stated it was necessary to scale down the operating capacities so more staff would be available to work at the busy intensive care units.
“The current situation is starting to resemble the situation in the spring of 2020,” an intensive care worker at St Jansdal hospital said.
The number of operating rooms will be reduced to three with only emergency procedures, oncological operations and surgeries involving children being able to continue as scheduled.
Similarly, The Erasmus Medical Centre in Rotterdam said on Thursday it can only perform urgent procedures that need to be scheduled within two weeks. At the same, the Medisch Spectrum Twente hospital in Enschede also announced they were no longer able to admit new patients, RTV Oost reported on Thursday.