Rising number of COVID-19 hospitalizations forcing OhioHealth to pause some elective procedures
Some OhioHealth hospitals will temporarily halt elective procedures that require an overnight stay due to rising COVID-19 hospitalizations.
The move aims to free up hospital staff and hospital capacity, according to a statement provided by the health care provider late Wednesday.
"Due to the fluid nature of this fourth surge, we will continually monitor capacity and pause or resume elective surgeries with an overnight stay as needed," the statement given to The Dispatch reads.
Three OhioHealth hospitals' intensive care units were above 90% capacity as of the week of Aug. 13, the most recent date for which capacity data was available from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
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The ICU at OhioHealth's Doctors Hospital was 98% full, while ICUs at both Riverside Methodist Hospital and Grant Medical Center were 96% full. Riverside Methodist Hospital's overall capacity was at 99%, data shows.
If needed due to capacity, OhioHealth can transfer patients to some of its other hospitals and medical centers, according to a statement in response to questions by The Dispatch.
"Capacity challenges are common in healthcare and have been even more common throughout this pandemic. We are currently treating an increasing number of COVID-19 inpatients while already busy with traditional, non-COVID-19 patients," the statement reads.
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Ohio State University's Wexner Medical Center has no plans to delay elective procedures at this point, spokeswoman Marti Leitch said via email. In the coming days though, Wexner Medical Center will look at ways to expand its ICU capacity if necessary, Leitch said.
Mount Carmel Health's ICUs were not at capacity as of Wednesday afternoon and the health system had no plans to delay any elective procedures.
The pause on some elective surgeries was a tactic used to shore up resources at the beginning of the pandemic.
Gov. Mike DeWine ordered all elective procedures to be postponed by March 18, 2020. The state allowed elective procedures that did not require an overnight stay to resume May 1, 2020 as part of a gradual reopening of Ohio's economy following COVID-19 closures ordered to slow the spread of the virus.