RICHMOND, Ky. — COVID-19 cases continue to rise in Kentucky and now at least one area hospital is suspending elective procedures because of the escalating cases.
Baptist Health Richmond announced Tuesday it is suspending all elective procedures. According to the hospital, elective procedures are those that are necessary but can be delayed for 30 days without harm or risk to patients.
“The clinical leadership at our hospital is monitoring the scope of procedures that fall into the categories of elective, urgent and emergency procedures,” said Erica Gregonis, MD, Baptist Health Richmond Chief Medical Officer. “Our medical experts will be making these decisions while maintaining the best interest of our patient’s well-being and safety.”
Baptist Health Richmond says all imaging procedures, including biopsies, CT, MRI and X-ray will continue.
Emergency cases that could cause loss of life, limb or organ will be done as quickly as possible. The hospital also classifies cases are urgent. These are procedures that cannot wait 30 days, but each case will be determined by doctors and medical staff leadership at the facility.
“We are taking this step to protect our patients while working to conserve resources, equipment and clinical staff to care for the most urgent and time-sensitive patient needs,” Dr. Gregonis said.
“We have now had to start using other areas of the hospital to treat our COVID [-19] patients such as parts of the operating room in the same day surgery area. Because of that, we’re also having to, you know, really conserve our resources using our resources, the best way that we can to take care of all of our patients with immediate care needs. “Dr. Gregonis.
With Baptist Health deciding surgeries, it’s causing more stress on patients looking to receive operations.
Richmond native Janet Briggs is one of the patients affected by the change.
“I was scheduled for surgery Thursday on my shoulder and now I can’t have it,” Briggs said.
The 63-year-old came this close to fix her collar bone.
“My collarbone is curling down and going into my shoulder bone, I guess or vice versa,” Briggs said.
But Briggs understands the challenges affecting the circumstances right now and making the best of the current situation.
“You just deal with it, I guess,” Briggs said.
As of Tuesday, the hospital has 24 patients with COVID-19, 18 unvaccinated and 6 vaccinated.
The hospital will contact patients affected by this change.