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Local hospitals will resume elective surgeries Monday

It's been more than six weeks since local hospitals stopped elective surgeries due to COVID-19. Now they are preparing to slowly start offering that service again.

Posted: May 1, 2020 6:26 PM

TIPPECANOE COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI)—"When we do start back up what does that do to our use of our personal protective equipment, our PPE," said Vice President of Medical Affairs for Franciscan Health Lafayette East Dr. Daniel Wickert

Wickert said they've been meticulous about their plan to begin elective surgeries.

"We don't know there's some prediction that the surge may still occur in the next week or two," said Wickert.

Dr. Wickert said that's why the hospital doesn't want to over extended on elective surgeries. So they've mapped out plans on how many beds are available and how to safely get patients into the hospital.

"What we have done and this is just how we did it, we have opened up four of our rooms," said WIckert. "One to do urgent cases, one for our general surgery population, one for orthopedic population and one for our GYN population."

Wickert said the hospital will have a governance committee of physicians who over see which cases should and can be done. He says even though the term is "elective surgery" doesn't mean patients can wait unsure of when the pandemic will end.

"Just from an orthopedic stand point individuals that were planning to have their knees replaced or knee surgery done, could they wait another year," said Wickert. 

Orthopedic Surgeon with IU Health Arnett Dr. Pete Seymour said not likely.

"These are all serious medical conditions that people have decided to pursue surgical options for," said Seymour. 

Seymour said IU Health is also mapping out plans for PPE and patient safety while keeping an eye on COVID-19.

"We know there's a big back log of work," said Seymour. "We are really trying to take care of everybody. We are putting the people who need surgery very most at the top of the list and we are going to do our best to take care of all of the patients."

Dr. Wickert and Dr. Seymour said local hospitals are planning to slowly start operations Monday.

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