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BRMC to resume elective surgeries

Posted on: 04/28/2020

Following yesterday’s announcement by Pennsylvania Secretary of Health Rachel Levine, MD, that hospitals in the state will be able to resume elective surgical procedures, Bradford Regional Medical Center will begin plans to restart surgery.

Dr. Levine stated that hospitals may begin offering surgical services as long as they feel it is safe for patients, have adequate personal protective equipment and can remain ready for a potential surge in COVID-19 patients. The decision follows guidance and recommendations from the American Hospital Association, the American College of Surgeons, American Society of Anesthesiologists, Association of Perioperative Registered Nurses and Children’s Hospital Association.

Jeff Zewe, president and chief executive officer, Upper Allegheny Health System, said BRMC has seen little COVID activity and believes surgeries can safely resume.

“This is good news for the community. While we are awaiting further guidance from the health department, we are ready to resume the service so that patients in our community can receive the elective treatments they need,” Zewe said.

“We know our surgeons have a significant backlog of cases since surgeries were suspended last month. We’ll restart slowly to assure all processes are in place to keep our patient safe,” William Mills, MD, chief medical officer, UAHS, said.

He explained that all patients having elective surgery must test negative for COVID-19 prior to surgery. “We are currently working out the logistics as this is a new requirement we have not seen before.”

Dr. Mills said any information about rescheduling would come directly to patients from their individual surgeon.

“Both Bradford and Olean have seen relatively low activity relative to COVID-19. Getting services back online is important from a patient care perspective,” Zewe said. “People need to have these procedures. In some cases, delaying essential care can be dangerous to a patient’s health.

“Sami Placer (senior system director, perioperative services) and her surgical services staff have been working very diligently to restart outpatient surgery while keeping patient safety as a top priority. Resuming this vital service is good news for the community and our patients,” Dr. Mills said.

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