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OhioHealth to temporarily pause some elective procedures amid statewide rise in COVID-19 hospitalizations

OhioHealth says, if necessary, it can transfer patients to its other hospitals in an effort to make additional capacity.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — OhioHealth has announced it will temporarily pause elective surgeries that require overnight stays at some of its hospitals in response to an increase in COVID-19 hospitalizations across the state.  

In a release, a spokesperson with OhioHealth said its hospitals are experiencing an increase of patients being treated for the virus. This surge comes as OhioHealth is already busy treating patients who have not tested positive for COVID-19. 

“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,” it reads in the release. 

The announcement comes following a warning from health officials at Ohio State Wexner Medical Center, who said just last week that hospitals could begin to eliminate elective care and outpatient services if hospitalizations continue to increase. 

Data provided from the Ohio Department of Health shows, as of last Thursday, one in seven patients in the ICU is being treated for COVID-19 across the state. 

OhioHealth says, if necessary, it can transfer patients to its other hospitals in an effort to make additional capacity. 

“While we always strive to provide care close to home, in times like these, we have the ability to lean on all of our hospitals to ensure patients get the care they need, when they need it, if any one hospital reaches capacity,” it reads in the statement. 

John Palmer, director of public affairs for the Ohio Hospital Association, said the delta variant created a disruption as the country continues its journey out of the pandemic. 

“It’s very unfortunate to see states that frankly have hospitals that have a waiting list for the ICU, the intensive care unit has a waiting list," Palmer said. "Those are situations you don’t want to be in. life-threatening type situations.”

10TV has reached out to other hospitals in central Ohio about the possibility of elective procedures being postponed. 

Mount Carmel Health System: 

"We currently don't have any plans to postpone elective procedures. We are continually assessing our operations to ensure we remain prepared to provide the best care to our patients and the community as COVID-19 cases continue to rise. It is critical that the community takes the current health guidelines outlined by local health officials and the CDC seriously. This current spike in cases won’t end unless everyone does their part to end it—we urge you to get vaccinated if you haven't already, to wear masks while indoors, maintain safe distances, wash your hands and stay vigilant."

Nationwide Children's Hospital

“Surge management in pediatrics is our usual course of business during winter months. This year, we have implemented strategies to optimize staffing and continually evaluate capacity, sooner than typical. While we are busy, we continue to be able to meet the needs of our patients and community without having to systematically postpone or delay care.”

Adena Health System and Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center have also said there were no plans to postpone elective procedures. 

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