Longer surgery waits due to extreme winter weather on top of Covid-19 pressure

By Gaby van Genderen

16 February 2021

Patients who require surgery on the regular OR program are dealing with a long wait to
have their surgery performed, because of Covid-19, and on top of that last week’s extreme
winter weather.

Slippery roads, snow, and ice skating on natural ice, all happened in a short amount of time, and it did not happen without consequences. Doctor. Roel Bakx, a Medical specialist and Pediatric Surgeon at Amsterdam UMC Hospital, location AMC, mentions peak moments where there were 30 up to 50 people in first aid waiting rooms a day.

The winter fun led to more injuries than the usual on any other day without winter weather.
According to Bakx, there was an increase in patients at Amsterdam UMC Hospital, on top of
the covid-19 pressure. “The Coronavirus already has an impact on hospitals. For example: for
quite some time now, operations are centrally planned. That means that we cannot run the
normal program, but only about half of what we normally do.

A large part goes through the emergency program, which Operation Rooms are currently being set aside for in the Amsterdam UMC Hospital.

This means that no regular patients can have surgery performed in these ORs and that people, therefore, have to wait longer for their surgery. On top of that, we had to dedicate one of these OR rooms entirely to performing surgery on broken wrists due to the winter weather. This will not be in favour of the already long waiting lists.”

Amsterdam UMC was not the only hospital that had to deal with an increased workload.
Hospitals like St. Antonius Hospital in Utrecht and Adrz Medical center in Goes also reported
on an increase in injuries, it was roughly three times as busy as usual. The first aid of Medical
Center Leeuwarden reported on 76 ice-related injuries on Saturday night.

Dr. Roel Bakx said that the Amsterdam UMC hospitals were equipped and prepared enough
to handle the extra crowds very well. Extra employees were scheduled to deal with the increase of patients. This meant more specialists with accreditation in the application of

Now that the thaw has set in and it is getting significantly warmer, the number of accidents
is expected to fall again. Dr. Bakx is confident the waiting lists will decrease and get better
per hospital soon. The ORs will get back to the Covid-19 standard considerably quickly.