Patients who are hospitalized for a reason other than Covid-19 and who subsequently test positive for coronavirus are considered to be coronavirus patients in the hospital daily numbers. This is while they don’t always have corona related complaints.
UMCG in Groningen says news hour It is estimated that approximately one third of patients admitted there who tested positive for the virus were initially admitted for another reason (for example, surgery). The count is important because government policy is based on the number of COVID-19 patients in hospitals.
In addition, as they say at the Groningen Hospital, there should be a treatment plan for people who need, for example, surgery and those who are injured. Especially now that the number of infected people is expected to increase, but not get sick.
Dr. Margolin Knoster, a microbiologist from the UMCG, says she has also been testing people without coronavirus complaints in her hospital for some time. This gives them insight into what is happening ‘beneath the surface’. For the hospital, the result of a positive test is currently the same in all cases. If people are infected, they should be treated anyway in the isolation room.
It’s “certainly important” for the national picture, says Knoster, to see whether people are really sick or just infected. “Most hospitals don’t screen like us, so the starvation patients you see in the numbers are often really sick people.” However, she says it is critical that it remains clear who is infected and who is only sick. “We need to know what it is. So I would argue that this has to be passed separately.”
Make agreements about testing policy
The LCPS, the national coordination center for patient distribution, notes that there is no discrimination in counting, because there is no difference in isolation measures and pressure on health care.
But a standardized testing policy is desirable, says the LCPS, which provides the department with the numbers. “With infection numbers rising rapidly, and sufferers not always having complaints, it would be wise to strike agreements in healthcare about testing policy across the chain, not just in hospitals.”
The Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sports said in its response that “discrimination has so far not been relevant.” Moreover, according to the ministry, it is not possible to distinguish very clearly in all cases. Currently, the Ministry does not see any reason to distinguish between patients who are admitted because of or because of Corona.
Ger Sieders, of the UMCG’s Capacity Team, sees more and more patients brought in for a positive test. It is checked on a case-by-case basis whether the process will continue. “We now have six patients in the hospital who are being treated for something else, but they are positive. We expect this to happen more and more, and we will receive infected people.”
Cedres believes that these affected patients should be viewed differently. Now this is still done based on numbers from 2020, when no one was vaccinated and therefore no surgery was done for people if they were infected.
He therefore calls for a clear distinction in the registry between people who have been admitted due to coronavirus and those who have tested positive by chance. “You can then adjust your ability to do so. For example, you could think of a group section of people who are not being treated for coronavirus, but who are infected.”
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