ARIZONA NEWS

Arizona resumes elective surgeries with new coronavirus protocols

May 1, 2020, 4:15 AM
(Getty Images/Chris McGrath)...
(Getty Images/Chris McGrath)
(Getty Images/Chris McGrath)

PHOENIX — Elective and outpatient surgeries resumed at Arizona hospitals and clinics on Friday.

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey signed an executive order last month prohibiting elective surgeries in order to conserve personal protective equipment for use by medical workers treating coronavirus patients.

Last week, Ducey signed a new executive order allowing such surgeries to resume so long as measures outlined in the order are followed so as to protect the well-being of medical staff and patients.

Requirements for medical facilities to resume elective surgeries include implementing enhanced cleaning of waiting areas, a universal screening process for staff, patients, and visitors and prioritizing elective procedures based on medical urgency.

Ducey’s original action barring elective procedures brought a large variety of surgeries to a halt.

“Bariatrics, hernia repairs, removal of growths, lumps, bumps, etc., orthopedics with total knees, total shoulders and total hips,” Damon Brown, market president for Steward Health Care, told KTAR News 92.3 FM.

Steward Health Care’s facilities include Mountain Vista Medical Center in Mesa, Florence Hospital, and St. Luke’s Hospital in Tempe.

Brown acknowledged such elective surgeries provide a lot of business for the hospital chain, adding that his his medical staff has taken a hit.

“We had to furlough staff,” he said. “With not doing cases, the hospitals have been pretty empty other than treating COVID-19.”

“And even with that, we’ve not had a tremendous amount of COVID-19 patients in this market.”

Steward said that the delay of elective surgeries caused some of his patients much pain.

“We’ve heard a lot of cases where patients have had to delay a surgery,” Brown said. “Perhaps it’s like a hip surgery where they’ve been in a wheelchair, or it’s not emergent but it’s a quality of life issue.”

Brown was among the healthcare professionals lobbying Gov. Ducey to restart elective surgeries on May 1 once it was determined medical facilities were adequately ready.

“We look at data almost hourly between supplies we have on hand, what the situation looks like in the market and if we’ll have an uptick in patients,” he said. “And we’ll adjust accordingly as we move forward. There may be another surge.”

In that case, hospitals would have to dial back elective and outpatient surgeries again. Going forward, Steward says every surgical patient will be tested for COVID-19.

“That takes place about 72 hours prior to surgery,” Brown explained. “When the patient arrives, they’ll have temperatures checked, and we’ll look for signs and symptoms before we start the procedure.”

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

FILE - In this July 16, 2019, file photo, officers taking part in training load gun clips with ammu...
KTAR.com

Phoenix man sentenced to over 3 years in prison for ammunition smuggle attempt

A Valley man was sentenced to over three years in prison on Wednesday for attempting to smuggle ammunition from the United States into Mexico last year, authorities said.
7 hours ago
(Pexels Photo)...
KTAR.com

Southbound SR 87 lanes reopened after crash east of Shea Boulevard

The southbound lanes have reopened on State Route 87 near the Fort McDowell Rodeo Grounds following a crash.
1 day ago
(Facebook photo/ Buckeye Police Department)...
KTAR.com

Police arrest suspect after deadly shooting in Buckeye

Police arrested a suspect without incident after a fatal shooting near Yuma and Dean Roads in Buckeye Friday evening.
1 day ago
(Mohave Area General Narcotics Enforcement Team Photo)...
KTAR.com

Officers seize over 100 pounds of cocaine at Arizona-California border

Arizona Department of Transportation Enforcement and Compliance Division officers seized over 100 pounds of cocaine on Tuesday at a port of entry near the California state line, authorities said. 
1 day ago
(Pexels Photo)...
KTAR.com

Scottsdale man accused of stealing millions in music royalties

A Scottsdale man is one of two people accused of stealing millions of dollars in music royalties over the past five years, authorities said Wednesday.
1 day ago
(Facebook Photo/Arizona Heart Foundation)...
Kevin Stone

Arizona Heart Foundation to provide free screenings for rural communities

The Arizona Heart Foundation is launching an outreach program to bring free screenings to rural communities where cardiovascular disease too often goes undetected.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Canvas Annuity

Annuity basics: how to retire with a guaranteed paycheck for life

Does the thought of retirement fill you with stress or with happiness? Everyone wants to spend their retirement in a way that brings them the most joy, whether that’s traveling the world or spending extra time at home with grandkids.
...
DISC DESERT INSTITUTE FOR SPINE CARE

What you need to know about spine health

With 540 million people suffering from lower back pain, it remains the leading cause of long-term disability. That’s why World Spine Day on Oct. 16 will raise awareness about spinal health with its theme, BACK2BACK. “BACK2BACK will focus on highlighting ways in which people can help their spines by staying mobile, avoiding physical inactivity, not overloading […]
...
PNC Bank

3 cool tips to turn everyday moments into learning experiences for your child

Early brain development has a crucial impact on a child’s ability to learn and succeed in school and life. Research has shown that 90% of a child’s brain is developed by age five.
Arizona resumes elective surgeries with new coronavirus protocols