How a hospital group is preparing to resume elective surgeries after COVID-19 turmoil

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During the pandemic, hospitals closed to all but urgent treatments. But with the number of COVID-19 cases dropping and the toll of the disease on the health care system easing, hospitals are now getting ready to start performing more surgeries. It’s an unprecedented task.

TORONTO -- During the pandemic, hospitals closed to all but urgent treatments. Now, with the number of COVID-19 cases dropping and the toll of the disease on the health care system easing, Ontario hospitals are getting ready to move to Phase 2 -- where they can perform elective surgeries again.

Hospital staff like veteran OR nurse Debbie Szczygelski are anxious to get back to normal patient care. “Those people, the longer they wait, the more the chronic pain gets worse, and so there's definitely pressure from the public, from our surgeons, to increase the volume of cases that we can do,” she said.

“COVID means we're going to have to do things differently for the foreseeable future,” Edgcumbe said. “It’s unprecedented.” In Ontario, hospitals aren’t allowed to resume surgery until there is a secure 30 day supply of medications and PPE. “We don't want to just open up the floodgates and not have enough [PPE], and then we're having to take two steps back,” Kwan told CTV News. “Same thing applies to medication shortages, which have been a pre-existing problem. But when you have more patients that are admitted to the hospital, for example, in a situation where there might be a surge of COVID-19 patients, that does use up a lot more of the medications that we would also additionally use for elective surgery.


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