PA health dept has given guidance to hospitals to resume elective surgery, but there’s no definitive timeline yet for when they can begin in the LV

Written by on April 28, 2020

PA health dept has given guidance to hospitals to resume elective surgery, but there’s no definitive timeline yet for when they can begin in the LV

By Tyler Pratt

April 28, 2020

Pennsylvania hospitals may be able to resume elective procedures and surgeries in the near future. Most non-essential surgeries were previously canceled in an effort to keep hospitals from becoming overwhelmed when the pandemic hit Pennsylvania. WLVR’s Tyler Pratt reports there is no timeline for Lehigh Valley hospitals yet.

Elective surgeries are a big revenue stream for hospitals. And healthcare advocates say cancelling them has hurt many hospitals bottom lines. And led to furloughs. 

State health secretary Dr. Rachel Levine said this week she has given guidance to hospitals to resume those surgeries as long as doing so won’t put the safety of patients and staff at risk.

“In order to start elective procedures, facilities should ensure that there is enough personal protective equipment to be prepared for a surge in COVID-19 cases,” said Dr. Levine.

Levine said facilities must also be able to treat patients without resorting to crisis standards of care, like rationing ventilators. 

The guidelines follow similar rules put out by other national health associations, which recommend surgeries resume when areas sustained decline in COVID-19 cases. A representative for the Lehigh Valley Health Network told WLVR News their hospitals will begin a quote “phased-in approach” to reopening soon and this includes elective procedures. A representative for St. Luke’s said they were still working out a plan. 


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