Crowded ICUs force hospitals to face decisions to postpone non-emergency surgeries
ATLANTA - Hospitals in Georgia that are approaching or exceeding full capacity in their emergency rooms due to COVID-19 are making difficult decisions.
Some hospitals in Georgia are diverting some resources from other departments to accommodate their patients in COVID ICU, and that sometimes means postponing non-elective surgeries.
Anna Adams, a spokesperson with the Georgia Hospital Association, said it's a difficult decision to make. The organization provides healthcare and clinical care information to member hospitals and well as accreditation standards.
She said some Georgia hospitals are hovering at around 96% capacity in ICUs.
She said member hospitals received requests from the federal government asking hospitals to cancel elective procedures. Gov. Brian Kemp denied that request, but Adams said some hospitals had already made their decisions to suspend elective surgeries.
Grady Chief Medical Officer Dr. Robert Jansen said, while COVID-19 hospitalizations have receded since the most recent peak, Grady is still feeling stretched thin by the surge.
He said Grady is back to performing routine surgeries. The decision came down to a matter of fairness.
"We resumed just about all surgical cases now, because it's just unfair," Jansen said.
Adams said, if you were affected by a postponement, talk to your doctor about your path forward.
"Consider what's next, if there is something you can do in the meantime, and make sure your pain is managed," Adams said.
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