ICUs are one of the most important elements in a country’s ability to successfully treat grave cases of coronavirus.
Currently, the Netherlands has 1150 ICUs, but that number needs to increase in the near future to 1531 in order to accommodate coronavirus patients over the next three years, reports NOS.
Calculation by the RIVM
The RIVM, together with the Dutch Association for Intensive Care (NVIC) and the National Coordination Center for Patient Distribution (LCPS) calculated how many ICUs are needed in various scenarios.
One calculation is based on the assumption of herd immunity and that 60% of the Netherlands will get infected, with 0.45% of people ending up in ICUs. This would lead to approximately 37,500 ICU patients over the next three years.
Assuming an even distribution of patients, that would mean that 639 permanent ICU beds are needed just for coronavirus patients unless a vaccine is created in the meantime.
The chairman of the NVIC, Diederik Gommers, wrote a letter to his healthcare colleagues, explaining the following:
“You have to realize that there are of course many assumptions in this calculation. Furthermore, it is also the case that the average is of little use. If the measures are released in phases, we are expected to be limited in the summer months to for example 300 COVID patients in ICU in the Netherlands and that this number will increase again in the autumn.”
He assumes that the summer will be more light when it comes to cases and that the extra time needs to be used to prepare more ICUs and nurses.
He also expressed his frustration in the letter that the virus has not spread equally throughout the country, thus affecting some regions much more gravely than others.
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Feature Image: Calleamanecer/Wikimedia Commons