U.S. Hospitals Ordered to Postpone Elective Surgeries, Operations Amid Coronavirus Pandemic
U.S. hospitals, foreseeing a need for beds as more people are diagnosed with coronavirus, are postponing elective surgeries, while some sufferers, leery of going to a hospital, are canceling appointments themselves. Several hospitals in the worst-hit Seattle, along with EvergreenHealth, have called off elective opartaions such as knee replacements for the next 30 days.
Emergency surgeries, including appendectomies or a broken wrist, that requires surgery will continue.
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio Sunday stated he would pass an executive order to delay all elective surgeries at New York hospitals so doctors and nurses can focus on treating coronavirus patients.
The goal is to vacant hospital beds, so the healthcare system doesn’t become overwhelmed during a potential inflow of coronavirus cases, while at the same time limiting exposure of healthy people to the infectious sickness.
The American Hospital Association (AHA), nevertheless, warned of a need to balance the requirements of caring for coronavirus patients while offering vital services to others who require care.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDCP) has recommended that hospital elective procedures, surgeries and non-urgent outpatient visits be delayed once the virus has begun to spread through a community.
Stocks of hospital operators Tenet Healthcare and HCA Healthcare both dropped 19% Monday, Tenet ending at $14.98 and HCA ettling at $84.45.
The American College of Surgeons, an influential medical association, recommended Friday that hospitals, health systems and surgeons “postpone or cancel elective operations” until it becomes clear whether the healthcare system can support the anticipated growth in critical patient care needs.