Fewer than 500 corona patients, but crisis has had a major impact on cancer care


Chemotherapy treatment is being prepared for a cancer patient. The number of treatments for cancer patients fell sharply during the corona crisis.Statue Arie Kievit

Impact of coronavirus for cancer patients large

The coronavirus outbreak has had a significant impact on Dutch cancer care. Over the whole of 2020, about 2 thousand fewer complex cancer operations were performed, a decrease of 11 percent compared to the two previous years. This is apparent from a large-scale study by the Collaborative Quality Registrations (SKR) into the impact of corona on healthcare. The decreased number of interventions is a possible consequence of delayed diagnoses, such as the temporary suspension of population screenings for breast, colorectal and cervical cancer. The number of referrals by GPs in patients with complaints also decreased. Oncologists are now seeing more people with more advanced metastases. For example, during the second wave, 40 percent of skin cancer patients had metastases in the brain, before the outbreak that percentage was 27. The number of unplanned IC shots decreased by 20 percent during the first wave. For example, the number of traffic accidents decreased and the number of accidents in and around the house increased. Relatively more trauma patients died, 2.9 percent instead of 2.4 percent.

Hospital occupancy continues to fall sharply, admission figures at risk level ‘worrying’

For the first time since September, there are fewer than 500 corona patients in hospitals. During the weekend, the patient total decreased from 533 to 491. Of these patients, 197 are in intensive care. Over the past week, an average of 35 covid patients per day were admitted, 5 of whom were on IC. With these numbers, the government no longer refers to the risk level as ‘serious’, but ‘worrying’. Last week, hospitals saw about 48 new patients every day. The numbers of infections have already fallen so far that according to government criteria, the situation is no longer ‘worrisome’, but the level is ‘vigilant’.

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