“I fear a second wave if we relax the measures now”

“At Radboud university medical center we are seeing the first effects of the corona measures. The peak of hospital admissions seems to be going down a bit and more air is coming in again. But we are not yet out of the danger zone and must therefore be on our guard.

I understand that the economy has to start running again, but I fear that easing measures will cause a second wave. We must therefore continue and look at how we can all continue to tackle this corona crisis in a smart way.

The nice thing is that there is now more room for other patients. I am very concerned about that. That people do not come to the hospital with their complaints because they think we are too busy or that they are at risk of infection.

Let me be very clear: you can safely come to the hospital. The cardiologists, oncologists and neurologists are just working and seeing patients. And yes, we can postpone interventions that can be postponed. But leave that decision to the doctor and do not decide for yourself that your complaints can wait a while.

In addition, the shortage of protective equipment remains my main concern as a member of the infection outbreak team. Our staff must be able to do the work safely, that really keeps me awake. Because the last patient with covid-19 is nowhere near in sight. So those resources remain necessary.

As a team we are continuously looking at how many aprons, masks, hand alcohol and gloves are left, whether they are used properly and what alternatives we have in case we run out of supplies.

Fortunately, we are an innovative country and people are very creative in coming up with solutions. At our hospital, our innovation lab has created a special test set-up where alternative mouth masks are tested. There is a doll that mimics breathing. He gets different mouth masks and face shields. We spray a yellow fluorescent substance on it and then measure how much fluorescent material has passed through the mask. The first results are very promising.

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