The Ohio Health Department announced an order Tuesday that told hospitals in the state to postpone non-life threatening surgeries and procedures in order to safeguard personal protective equipment (PPE) for health care workers.
PPE is used by health care workers to minimize exposure to things that can cause injury or illness.
“By postponing elective hospital procedures that are safe to delay, we can protect patients and providers,” Gov. DeWine said in a prepared statement, according to WHIO. “This will also help us preserve critically short supplies of PPE and preserve inpatient beds and other equipment for critically ill patients.”
The Ohio Hospital Association says the Buckeye State will need PPE that is equal to what is available nationally, according to Fox 19.
“It is important to recognize the conservation of PPE is paramount. If we don’t do conservation steps now, we will not have health care workers who are protected to care for the most sick,” Chief of the Bureau of Health Preparedness Tamara McBride said at Tuesday’s press conference on the coronavirus.
Chief Clinical Officer Senior Associate Vice President, Health Sciences Andy Thomas said he and other surgical leaders from hospitals in Ohio came together to determine what surgeries and procedures would be safe to delay.
The surgeries and procedures will continue if it meets the following criteria, according to WHIO:
• There is a threat to the patient’s life if surgery or procedure is not performed;
• There is a threat of permanent dysfunction of an extremity or organ system;
• There is a risk of metastasis or progression of staging;
• There is a risk of rapidly worsening to severe symptoms
Thomas said these steps will help with social distancing at hospitals, preserve PPE for health care workers and keep more beds available.
To comply with this order, President and CEO of Ohio Hospital Association Mike Abrams said hospitals are postponing non-life threatening procedures, so resources can be allocated.
Furthermore, he noted that Ohio’s hospitals are at 75 percent capacity currently, which is normal for this time of year. Hospitals can “safely surge” take on extra 25 percent if needed, according to Thomas.
To help with getting more PPE to healthcare workers, McBride asked industries to donate to their local Ohio Emergency Medical Agency.
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