Massachusetts Hospitals to Cut Back on Elective Procedures

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U.S.|Strained Massachusetts hospitals volition chopped backmost connected elective procedures starting Monday.

A Covid ward astatine  a infirmary  successful  Worcester, Mass., successful  January.
Credit...Photo by Joseph Prezioso/AFP via Getty Images
  • Nov. 24, 2021, 11:30 a.m. ET

Hospitals successful Massachusetts volition chopped backmost connected nonurgent scheduled procedures starting connected Monday due to the fact that of staffing shortages and longer diligent infirmary stays, according to the state’s wellness authorities.

Coronavirus cases person been rising successful Massachusetts for respective weeks, but hospitalizations person risen astatine a little rate. The unit connected hospitals relates to different consequences of the coronavirus pandemic, the authorities said.

The staffing shortage, mostly driven by the pandemic, has contributed to the nonaccomplishment of astir 500 medical, surgical and I.C.U. infirmary beds successful Massachusetts, according to the state. And hospitals are seeing an influx of patients who request much analyzable attraction for wellness issues due to the fact that they delayed visiting the doctor erstwhile Covid cases were higher.

7–day average


Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The seven-day mean is the mean of a time and the erstwhile six days of data. Currently hospitalized is the astir caller fig of patients with Covid-19 reported by hospitals successful the authorities for the 4 days prior. Dips and spikes could beryllium owed to inconsistent reporting by hospitals. Hospitalization numbers aboriginal successful the pandemic are undercounts owed to incomplete reporting by hospitals to the national government.

The order, issued connected Tuesday, applies to hospitals that person little than 15 percent of beds available, and applies lone to procedures that are scheduled successful beforehand and tin beryllium delayed without having a antagonistic effect connected patients’ health. It does not use to urgent and indispensable procedures.

The authorities said the bid would assistance hole for the yearly summation successful hospitalizations typically seen aft Thanksgiving and done January.

Marylou Sudders, the state’s caput of wellness and quality services, said in a statement connected Tuesday: “Covid hospitalizations successful Massachusetts stay little than astir each different authorities successful the nation, but the challenges the wellness attraction strategy look remain, and this bid volition guarantee hospitals tin service each residents, including those who necessitate attraction for Covid-19.”

In Massachusetts, caller cases person risen from an mean of astir 1,300 aboriginal this period to much than 2,800, and hospitalizations are up 47 percent implicit the past 14 days, according to a New York Times database. As of Wednesday morning, 740 radical were hospitalized for Covid-19, according to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.

State officials worked with the Massachusetts Health & Hospital Association to make the guidelines. Dr. Eric Dickson, the committee seat of the relation and the president and C.E.O. of UMass Memorial Health, said successful a statement: “While we admit that delaying immoderate prescheduled surgeries whitethorn contiguous a important hardship for patients, we judge it is simply a indispensable measurement to guarantee that each of the Commonwealth’s hospitals tin proceed to conscionable the needs of patients requiring exigency care.”

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