Half of Dutch coronavirus intensive care patients are under 50
A new study has revealed that half of the coronavirus patients in intensive care in the Netherlands are under 50 years old. The virus can cause a severe respiratory disease that can leave patients struggling to breathe.
Coronavirus causes ARDS
Nearly all of the 24 people who died due to coronavirus in the Netherlands were over the age of 70. However, coronavirus can cause severe acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) in younger patients. ARDS is a fatal disease and patients are admitted to hospital in intensive care after contracting it. Half of all patients admitted into intensive care with ARDS die.
ARDS is a type of respiratory failure that causes widespread inflammation of the victims’ lungs. Symptoms include difficulty breathing and discolouration of the skin, which turns slightly bluish. In severe cases, patients cannot breath properly and have to be mechanically ventilated by a tube.
According to the Dutch Association for Intensive Care (NVIC), there are 96 coronavirus patients currently admitted into intensive care wings throughout the Netherlands. The chairman of the NVIC, Diederik Gommers, has confirmed that the majority of this group is under 50 years of age.
Young people in intensive care
Most of the intensive care patients are situated in North-Brabant. “I think that is because of the outbreak during carnival, a party that is mainly celebrated by younger people,” Gommers told reporters. “A small percentage of them have become seriously ill and we now find them in ICs.”
The high proportion of seriously ill youths in the Netherlands may be a reflection of the Netherlands’ relatively young population or even the low number of patients who are in intensive care, compared to the number of people infected.
Gommers has insisted that the situation is under control. The number of beds in intensive care units can be expanded and operating room personal are being drafted in to help out in intensive care in hospitals around the country.
Six percent develop serious complications
A study of 72.000 Covid-19 patients found that the majority of people, 81 percent, only suffered from mild symptoms. Six percent of the patients needed help breathing or were admitted to intensive care, over 80 percent of these patients were aged over 50.