Hospitals on the verge of delaying regular care as Covid admissions rise
As the number of coronavirus-related hospital admissions rises, Dutch hospitals are again starting to delay plannable surgeries and regular care, NRC reports after surveying the large hospitals. According to the newspaper, especially hospitals in areas with a low vaccination rate are having trouble.
The Isala Hospital in Zwolle already canceled 20 surgeries over the weekend. Regular care came to a standstill there due to a coronavirus outbreak in the municipality of Staphorst, where only slightly more than half of locals are vaccinated against Covid-19. Five coronavirus patients also had to be transferred to other hospitals.
Radboudumc in Nijmegen had to cancel several heart surgeries on Monday, internist Chantal Bleeker-Rovers said to the newspaper. The number of Covid-19 patients increased rapidly last week, and partly due to high absenteeism, the hospital could not absorb the influx.
In Zuyderland in Limburg, a third of ICU beds are filled by Covid-19 patients. "We are very close to the point where we have to cancel operations again," hospital director David Jongen said. The Elisabeth-Tweesteden hospital in Tilburg has Covid-19 patients in 15 percent of its beds. "We try to avoid canceling operations, but we are restricting access by only planning operations with a higher urgency," director Bart Berden said to NRC. "If the ICU occupancy goes to 25-30 percent, we will have to cancel surgeries again."
UMC Utrecht and the Maasstad Hospital in Rotterdam are not yet affected by the increase in Covid-19 patients, but they are preparing for the worst. UMC Utrecht is preparing for a new reality in which beds are always occupied with Covid-19 patients. "And if the number gets too high, then scenarios are ready in which we have to scale down regular care," capacity manager Suzan Vernie said.
The average number of coronavirus-related hospital admissions increased by over a third in two weeks, to about 70 admissions per day. A total of over 600 people with Covid-19 are currently hospitalized in the Netherlands, the same number as in mid-September.