A Road Map for Maintaining Essential Surgery During the Pandemic

A Road Map for Maintaining Essential Surgery During the Pandemic. An image of a curving road with five locations marked by numbered flag pins.The recent resurgence of COVID-19 in many states finds them near or at bed and intensive care unit capacity, and health care facilities’ ability to meet the ongoing needs of surgical patients may be stressed by new influxes of COVID-19 patients.

To ensure that health care organizations, physicians and nurses remain prepared to meet these demands to care for patients who undergo recommended essential operations, the AHA along with the American College of Surgeons, American Society of Anesthesiologists and Association of periOperative Registered Nurses, released a Joint Statement: Roadmap for Maintaining Essential Surgery During COVID-19 Pandemic.

The road map builds on a previous joint statement released in April and provides a list of principles and considerations to guide physicians, nurses, and hospitals and health systems as they provide essential care to their patients and communities. It covers eight key areas of operations:

  • Regional cooperation critical to continuing to provide essential care.
  • Supply chain.
  • COVID-19 testing within a facility.
  • Personal protective equipment.
  • Case prioritization and scheduling.
  • COVID-19 issues for surgical care.
  • Collection and management of data.
  • COVID-19-related safety and risk mitigation.

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Photo Credit: @caitlindsutton