Perioperative Focus - Canceling Elective Surgeries

On March 13, 2020, in response to guidance given by the CDC to hospitals in the outbreak areas of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), the American College of Surgeons issued guidance regarding cancellation of elective surgeries (https://www.facs.org/about-acs/covid-19/information-for-surgeons/elective-surgery). This was followed in a March 17, 2020 clarification message regarding the term "elective" and guidance on determining cancellations (https://www.facs.org/about-acs/covid-19/information-for-surgeons/triage).

Facilities should review their current policies in their Emergency Preparedness Plan and/or perioperative policies to assess their definition of elective surgeries and the process of cancellation. There should be a collaboration of disciplines (surgeons, anesthesia, perioperative, and executive leadership) to develop or redefine the policy if it is not clearly stated. It should be considered that the determination may be a case-by-case process, and not a lump sum diagnosis exclusion or inclusion.

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