Elective Surgeries Set to Resume, With Complications and Concerns

As states gauge whether to allow elective surgeries, hospitals face the difficult task of balancing patients' needs with safety and equipment requirements

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As COVID-19 has spread across the country in recent months, hospitals have postponed elective surgeries, nonemergency procedures that are scheduled in advance. Cosmetic surgery, hernia repair and cancer operations are among the wide range of elective surgeries that come with varying degrees of complexity and urgency, NBC News reports.

The American Hospital Association published a road map to resuming elective surgeries on April 17, alongside the American College of Surgeons, American Society of Anesthesiologists and the Association of periOperative Registered Nurses.

The road map details principles and considerations for health care professionals to take into account as they start integrating more elective procedures back into their schedules. Some of the principles include timing for reopening elective surgeries, COVID-19 testing within facilities, adequate Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) supplies, conservation policies for PPE and case prioritization and scheduling.

Resumption of elective surgeries is a part of President Donald Trump’s “Reopening America” plan. “We’re encouraging states around the country to restart elective surgery wherever possible even on a county by county basis," Vice President Mike Pence said Friday, speaking at Trump's signing of a $484 billion coronavirus relief package.

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