BECKLEY, WV (WVNS) — Governor Jim Justice called-off elective surgeries at the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic; however, Beckley Appalachian Regional Hospital Community CEO, Rocco Massey, said elective surgeries do not necessarily mean the patient can go without them.
“We have children who have significant dental issues that require them to go under anesthesia. Those have been deferred. We have children with inflamed tonsils and ear issues,” Massy said.
Beckley Appalachian Regional Hospital had to abruptly cancel more than 125 surgeries. Recently, Justice announced the restart of these procedures. Massey said BARH is excited for their patients.
“It’s gone on too long. It’s time to bring those patients back. And nobody can do it better than this hospital in this safe environment that we’ve established,” Massey said.
The hospital placed strict guidelines to slowly ease back into these surgeries. They developed a Surgical Review Committee that will decide on the priority of the procedures.
“That’s a multi-disciplinary team of doctors and staff who will oversee this safe phasing-in of these new and elective procedures,” Massey said.
Staff still have to ration their personal protective equipment. The state requires them to have 14 days worth on hand, which is why they can only do 16 elective surgeries a day.
“We can calculate how many masks, how many gloves, how many gowns, how many face shields we have to have, in order to have a 14 day supply,” Massey explained.
Each patient will also be required to get tested for COVID-19 before their surgery.
“It needs to be done within 72 hours. So, patients scheduled for surgery on Monday, has to have their test sometime Friday, Saturday or Sunday,” Massey said.