Hospitals start scheduling elective procedures

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EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WEHT)- Monday was the start of the first full week hospitals are able to schedule elective procedures in Indiana. This follows the governor’s order to halt those procedures last month.

As conversations about a return to normalcy continue some medical professionals find themselves returning to work.

“We would take care of 90 to 100 procedures and surgeries in a day and we’ve seen about half those volumes now,” Dr. Brad Scheu says.

Elective surgeries like knee replacement procedures were put on hold in Indiana last month. Now hospitals like Deaconess and Ascension St. Vincent in Evansville are opening schedules to treat patients.

“Elective procedures are ones that are non-emergent. Meaning it does not have to be done right now, this minute, to save your life or to fix your illness immediately,” Dr. Scheu explains.

Dr. Heidi Dunniway says many have had to wait, “some are getting to a point where if they really do need to be completed. “

Dr. Heidi Dunniway with Ascension St. Vincent says they’re contacting patients in advance and asking them to self isolate so they are healthy when they come to the hospital.

“Also start testing some of the patients that have been more of the elective procedures that were starting to open up,” Dr. Dunniway explains.

Deaconess providers are also taking steps.

“We’re treating patients as if they have it. So taking extra precautions with personal protective equipment and changing some of the ways that we do parts of the procedure to be extra cautious,” Dr. Scheu continues.

Dunniway at St. Vincent says they’re gradually integrating more procedures.

“And then also determining what are the most emergent procedures that need to be done.”

Both hospitals agree people shouldn’t wait to seek medical attention if they need immediate help. That can do more harm than good.

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(This story was originally published on April 27, 2020)

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