80 percent of all Dutch corona patients treated in intensive care are overweight. That says Diederik Gommers, chairman of the Dutch Association for Intensive Care (NVIC) Friday at Jinek .

According to Gommers and Peter van der Voort, head of intensive care at the UMCG, there is "apparently" a link between the overweight people and their problems with the coronavirus, although this cannot yet be said with certainty.

Van der Voort says it is striking how many overweight people experience respiratory problems after being infected with the coronavirus. Gommers suspects that it has to do with their "heavy chest, which makes it harder to breathe". Similar reports were also reported to have come in from China.

'Critical limit on the IC will be reached on Sunday'

The experts reiterated at Jinek that the critical limit in intensive care will most likely be reached this weekend. "The increase of a hundred new patients a day does not seem to be decreasing yet." There are currently almost 900 corona patients in intensive care.

This poses a problem within the Netherlands: the number of beds would only be expanded from 1,150 to 1,600 on 1 April. 2,200 beds would be needed by the end of May.

In addition to the possible bed shortage, the NVIC also fears a shortage of respiratory machines. "There is a chance that we may have the newly ordered copies too late," says Gommers. He gives little chance of the previously suggested idea of ​​connecting two patients to one ventilator. "They must have the same lung disease. Machines need to be optimized. This really should be the last option."

Van der Voort warns against a shortage of personnel. "We have been tight in the nurses for years: now that tightness is becoming clear."



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Germany can take over patients

Germany could provide help. The eastern neighbors have enough empty IC beds and conversations are underway to transfer patients to them, Gommers confirms at Jinek.

In the worst case scenario, it will soon have to be decided which patient will be put on the respiratory equipment, says the head of the NVIC. "Those are scenes that only take place in wars. It is not clear how we should make those decisions."

Follow the latest developments around the virus in our live blog.

The coronavirus in short

  • The coronavirus mainly spreads from person to person via sneezing and cough drops. The chance of becoming infected through surfaces such as door handles is small. This chance decreases if you wash your hands often.
  • You can considerably reduce the chance of spreading by keeping at least 1.5 meters away from others.
  • An infected person infects two to three others on average. Precautions are necessary to contain this.
  • The vast majority of patients have mild (flu-like) complaints.
  • Almost all deaths involve the elderly or other vulnerable persons, such as heart, lung or diabetes patients. If everyone complies with the measures, this reduces their risks.
  • Read here what precautions you should take.