February 1, 2023

Taylor Daily Press

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More amputations, deformities and blindness due to delayed care due to Corona

More amputations, deformities and blindness due to delayed care due to Corona

“People with injured feet don’t go to the doctor. And if you don’t go to the doctor with that, the wound gets deeper and deeper and the bone underneath also becomes inflamed. This is very difficult to treat,” says Schord Polstra, president of the Dutch Orthopedic Association. Postponing operations for a long time, people continue to solve a problem for a very long time, after which amputation is the only thing possible. This is very worrying.”

No extra space

One victim of late care is Rita Vonk-Martens of Pijnacker. She had been waiting for knee surgery for a year. “Without the aura, it would have been my turn a long time ago. I must be perturbed.”

“A year ago I was in the hospital for a heart scan and discussed everything with the surgeon. He told me he was going to team up and I would get a letter in a week. But then there was silence for weeks. The ICs were overcrowded and there was no room for me. When I called they said they were working on it. ‘ says Rita.

Corona patients priority “unfair”

Waiting a year has serious consequences for Rita’s health. “I’ve been in a wheelchair all day now. I’m trying to get from the living room to the toilet with the walker, but I can’t do that anymore. It hurts so much, I’m on the way.”

Rita believes that surgery cannot be performed at the moment, after seeing infection numbers rising again. “The integrated circuits are filled up again, Corona patients are being prioritized again. I don’t think that’s fair anymore, because if those people had taken a vaccine, they wouldn’t end up in the center. Meanwhile.”

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Reduce consulting hours

Schord Polestra sees people entering the hospital in poor condition. “They also come out worse,” he says. Many doctors usually look at what is going on. “And then something is done about it in time.”

But he now sees hospital consultation hours being reduced. “And then patients don’t dare and they actually come too late. Before Corona, for example, doctors tried to prevent surgery through physical therapy. But because of Corona people were not able to go to a physiotherapist.”

Many late treatments

According to Prolestra, it occurs in people with osteoporosis, but also in cataract processes. “They have all stopped working and so these patients are functionally blind. It also results in less movement, which leads to secondary complaints. Internists and urologists also see their waiting-list patients deteriorate.”

“People with scoliosis have abnormalities, and urologists see complications in their patients, for example if the catheter is not taken out in time,” he continues his summary. “But also breast reconstructions. It may not be life-threatening, but it is very disfiguring. The loss of quality of life means that people suffer psychologically, which is seriously significant. It also costs a lot of extra money in the end.”

invisible group

Prolstra understands the frustration of patients like Rita. “It’s an almost invisible group,” he says. “Now they’re helpless on the side.”

“There are more than 200,000 operations postponed, of which 40,000 to 45,000 are orthopedic. In 2020, 14,000 fewer hip surgeries were performed, another 8,000 fewer in 2021. Then you’re only talking about hip and knee joints.”

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