OKC hospitals postpone elective, nonessential surgeries to fight COVID-19

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OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Hospitals are struggling with coronavirus concerns as they make decisions about nonessential surgeries.

Five of the largest metro hospital systems have voluntarily chosen to postpone elective surgical procedures, but not all surgery centers are following suit.

“We are going to reduce the community spread,” said Chuck Spicer.

The OU Medical President explained why his hospital along with Mercy, Integris, Norman Regional and St. Anthony’s are postponing all elective surgeries for the time being.

We had hoped to ask our own questions but OU Medical gave us these responses from their CEO.

Along with protecting patients and practitioners from contracting COVID-19, the move is to also to save on supplies needed to fight the virus.

“To reduce PPE utilization to only necessary procedure. We have precious resources specifically with Personal Protective Equipment. We want to limit that and use it when it is truly needed and we know the nation and our city is in short supply,” said Spicer.

But not all surgery facilities are following suit.

A spokesperson for Surgery Centers of Oklahoma turned down our request for an on-camera interview but told News 4:

“At this time we will continue to perform elective cases at the Surgery Center of Oklahoma.”

The spokesperson went on to say that they are not using personal protective equipment like respirators, just standard surgical masks for procedures.

In line with requests by the President, on Wednesday the governor of Oregon ordered all non-emergency medical procedures to stop.

KFOR contacted Governor Stitt’s office, and they told us they would look into the issue.

Then News 4 contacted that State Health Department, the one state entity that could institute a statewide stoppage of elective surgical procedures, and a spokesperson gave this statement.

“We are not seeing an indication of a surge in hospital capacity at this time. It’s not something we are mandating at this time or foresee doing. This is left to the discretion of the hospitals in order to be proactive and conserve supplies.”

It’s important to note that urgent medical procedures and surgeries that need to be done in the next 4 weeks will still be scheduled.

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