Dr DF Zandstra (b. 1951) has been appointed professor by special appointment (bijzonder hoogleraar) of intensive care medicine at the Faculty of Medicine of the Universiteit van Amsterdam (UvA). The chair has been endowed by the Society Teaching Hospital AMC-OLVG.
Durk Zandstra began his professional career as full time intensive care specialist at the University Medical Center Groningen in 1981. As one of the first to be working in this field full time, he contributed to the establishment of both the clinic and research. As clinical researcher Zandstra was involved in research on prevention of infections in IC patients by means of selective decontamination of the digestive tract (SDD); a strategy to eliminate potentially pathogenic micro-organism carried in the gut that predominantly cause infections in ICU patients. He also focused on respiration modes – in particular differential lung ventilation – and pathogenesis of stress ulceration (stomach ulcers caused by stress) in IC patients. Furthermore, he did research on the use of vasodilators during septic shock. In future research Zandstra will focus on post-resuscitation medicine. Patients who, after a cardiac arrest, have been resuscitated often suffer from disorders in vital parts (brain, heart, lungs, kidneys, gut). These disorders, which are caused by circulatory arrest, demand an intensive treatment at intensive care. The aim of the research is to improve chances of survival for this group of patients, of whom at least half still dies after initial successful resuscitation.
Zandstra has been working at the Onze Lieve Vrouwe Gasthuis (hospital in Amsterdam, OLVG) since 1987 as intensive care specialist, and has been Medical Head of the department of Intensive Care since 1994. Furthermore he has been recognised first trainer for the field of Intensive Care Medicine in The Netherlands since 1994. Zandstra is also visiting professor Intensive Care Medicine at the University Gadjah Mada in Yogjakarta (Indonesia). He holds board posts at the Stichting Invensief and the Stichting Samenwerkende Medische Specialisten (society of collaborating medical specialists), and is member of several committees both within and outside of the OLVG.