October 2022


October 2022

D.W. Donker
Intensive Care Center, University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht University, Utrecht, the Netherlands Cardiovascular and Respiratory Physiology, TechMed Center, University of Twente, Enschede, the Netherlands



With our minds wide open: Let us foster the young academic spirit in critical care!


In this last issue of the Netherlands Journal of Critical Care (NJCC) in 2022, Ronald Akkerman and colleagues from the Leiden University Medical Center review the Ebola virus in the series of potential pandemic pathogens.[1] As many among us contemplate the possible impact of the coronavirus disease of 2019 (COVID-19) during the upcoming winter, very recent reports on an Ebola outbreak in Uganda add another dimension.[2] In this light, the review by Akkerman could not be more topical. The remainder of this issue of the NJCC features case reports, a photo quiz and a clinical image. Here, young and experienced colleagues together present their clinical experiences reflected against the existing body of literature intended to aid us all in our complex daily practice. The philosophy of promoting young critical care professionals to observe, study, reflect and publish has been an important impetus to advance this journal. In this sense, Willemijn Laumans from the HagaZiekenhuis in The Hague elaborates on the peculiar clinical manifestation, possible shortcomings of routine diagnostics and ultimate significance of a COVID-19 related encephalopathy.[3] Franny Jongbloed from the Franciscus Gasthuis and Vlietland Hospital in Rotterdam reports on the complexity of complications after anticoagulant therapy in the elderly.[4]

Jan Willem Plaisir from the Amsterdam University Medical Center underscores how important careful clinical observation is, specifically when it comes to the interaction of the patient with critical, life-sustaining support technology.[5] The clinical image, as presented by Midas de Grunt from the Tergooi Hospitals in Hilversum, teaches us that even in very critical emergencies we should always consider differential diagnoses.[6] This case exemplifies that our daily clinical practice does not only bear great challenges but also guarantees virtually a daily learning experience. I agree that, from an overarching perspective, we should keep 'our eyes wide open' when forecasting the next 'COVID-19 winter', as delineated in the editorial in the September edition of NJCC by Iwan van der Horst from the Maastricht University Medical Center.[7] But, seen in a long-term perspective, let us not forget to empathically foster the professional enthusiasm and young academic spirit as one of the most pivotal elements of a sustainable future in critical care, 'with our minds wide open'!


  1. Akkerman RDL, Van Paassen J, Nederstigt C, Pelt WMJ, van Westerloo DJ. Potential pandemic pathogens series: Ebola virus. Neth J Crit Care. 2022;30:188-192.
  2. World Health Organization. Accessed on October 24, 2022.
  3. Laumans WBQ, Yildirim A, Mook B, Koeman M, Akin S. Treat the lungs and wait for the brain in COVID-19: a case report of severe COVID-19 encephalopathy. Neth J Crit Care. 2022;30:200-203.
  4. Plaisir JW, Tuinman PR. What is this CVVHD device telling you about your patient? Neth J Crit Care. 2022;30:193, 208-209.
  5. Jongbloed F, de Leur K, Heetman C, de Maat M, Wils E-J. An 85-year old patient with severe ongoing bleeding. Neth J Crit Care. 2022;30:194-198.
  6. de Grunt M, Heidt J. At least he didn’t miss his train… Neth J Crit Care. 2022;31:204-207.
  7. Van der Horst I. Forecast with eyes wide open – a perspective on the upcoming winter. Neth J Crit Care. 2022;30:150-151.