LIVE Hospitals: Preparing for Code Black by British Virus Mutation

Even now that vaccination has begun, the coronavirus blown over from China continues to cause worldwide disruption. Since the beginning of the pandemic, more than 2 million people have died of the virus worldwide. In the United States, most of the victims (almost 390,000) were victims, followed by Brazil (over 207,000). In the Netherlands, about 13,000 people have succumbed to the virus. More than 93 million coronavirus infections have been detected worldwide. Follow the latest coronan news in this live blog.

Hospitals in the Utrecht region are preparing for code black now that the British corona variant has emerged in the region. Thats what John Taks, chairman of the board of directors of the Diakonessenhuis and Jan-Wijen Fijen, intensivist and medical head of the IC in an interview with the AD. When code is declared black, medics should choose who they do and who do not treat in intensive care, for example based on age. There was much to do about this in politics in The Hague. The Cabinet finally decided not to introduce a ban on age selection in the intensive care unit.

โ€œ The British variant has already been found in the region. Were worried because we dont want to end up in the black scenario. During New Years Eve we were close, now we see the numbers down again. That raises the question: is this silence before the storm?โ€ , says Taks.

The number of coronapatics in the hospital is decreasing cautiously, but we are not there yet, says Fijen. โ€œWe still get plenty of supply from patients who need an ic bed. I can see some bright spots: we now have vaccines and its going to be spring, but its still going to be a very exciting time.โ€

Ethical consideration

When code is used black, it is declared nationally. โ€œYou absolutely dont want that scenario,โ€ says Fijen. As an intensivist, he receives special training in how to act when the time comes. โ€œFor example: a patient comes with advanced ALS and corona. We now include it as IC if we think it works for the patient, but with code black it is less obvious. And what do you do with a patient who comes in and seems more likely than someone already in the ICU?โ€ Choices that create ethical dilemmas and are taken by a whole team. By the way, doctors always consider whether a person benefits from an admission, emphasizes the intensivist.

In the meantime, a total of 40,000 healthcare workers in acute care have received Pfizers coronavine vaccine. This means that on the last day of the vaccinations, about a thousand more people were vaccinated. Last Monday, the last batch of vials came into the hospitals, which could be used until Friday.

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See more coronan news in the live blog of Thursday 14 January.