Hospitals to Implement Restrictions on Procedures to Save Equipment, Prevent COVID-19 Spread
The state of Ohio is issuing an order that will make hospitals postpone elective surgeries to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, save protective equipment for health care workers and keep beds open.
Gov. Mike DeWine announced Tuesday hospitals will only perform surgeries that fall into these four categories:
- Life saving
- Preserves limbs or organs
- Prevents progression of disease
- Prevents worsening symptoms
Patients will be receiving a call from their hospitals as to whether their procedure has been canceled.
Dr. Amy Acton, the director of theOhio Department of Health (ODH),and other health officials said the measures will keep resources open for health care workers to treat those affected by COVID-19.
“Conservation in this entire situation is paramount," said Tamara McBride, the chief of health prepardness at ODH.
In the past, Acton has talked about the storage of protective equipment for health care workers in the U.S. She asked facilities Monday to donate any equipment that's not being used.
Acton said people have already donated and is now urging schools to give any protective equipment, such as latex gloves, they may have. Items can be taken to the local emergency management agency.
Mike Abrams, the CEO of the Ohio Hospitals Association, said hospitals are prepared across the state to handle a spike in cases if it happens.
"We can safely surge another 25% without doing anything extraordinnary at all," Abrams said.
Hospitals are partnering with other facilities to treat noninfectious patients in order to free up space and resources in hospitals for those affected by COVID-19.
Abrams said some examples are turning an empty wing of a nursing home or a floor of a hotel into a treatment center for those noninfectious patients. The main wing of those buildings and residents would not be affected.
State officials have also discussed opening recently closed hospitals to help house and treat many individuals.
“When this hits hard, we are ready for it," DeWine said.
As of Tuesday, there are 67 confirmed cases in the state. The first case was confirmed about a week ago.
Acton said the state has received $15 million from the federal government to help treat patients with COVID-19 and prepare hospitals for more cases. Around $10 million will be disbursed to local health departments across the state for testing, treatment and other resources they may need. The Ohio State Dental Board has also asked dentists to postpone routine hygiene appointments and non-emergency procedures. Along with the order for hospitals, the state also plans to follow President Donald Trump's call to limit mass gatherings to 10 people. The order for mass gatherings has changed twice. Last week, it was no more than 100 people. Then the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention made a warning to limit it to 50. Trump referred to a study done by Imperial College London, which showed if Americans don't take precautionary measures — like maintaining six feet of space between people and working from home — more than 2 million people could die. The study explained that if those precautionary measures are taken, that death toll could be cut in half. DeWine also said he expects to make an order soon regarding daycares in the state. In previous press conferences, he has warned families to take their children out of daycares. Acton said although many children aren't getting sick from the disease — and they could — they are carriers and can spread it to high-risk populations like the elderly or people with pre-existing conditions. "This is no ordinary time in Ohio. This is no ordinary time in the United States," DeWine said. Many changes have been made in the state to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Here's what has happened over the last few weeks:
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