Updated: Apr 24, 2020
A Joint Statement has been released by the American College of Surgeons, American Society of Anesthesiologists, Association of periOperative Registered Nurses and the American Hospital Association in regards to beginning elective surgeries. There have been needed but not essential surgeries delayed, and as facilities begin to open for these cases, a process should be discussed now, on how to resume elective surgeries. This should be a collaborative and interdisciplinary process.
The statement delineates eight prinicple areas with subset considerations. The principle areas are: 1) Timing for reopening of elective surgeries with locally sustained COVID-19 reduction rates, appropriate ICU personnel and beds, PPE (personal protective equipment) and ventilators; 2) COVID-19 testing for staff and patient safety; 3) Adequate PPE and medical surgical supplies; 4) Case prioritization and scheduling with established policy and priortization strategy; 5) Addressing issues specific to the five phases of surgical care such as preop assessments and reassessments of health status; 6) Collection and management of data; 7) COVID-related safety and risk mitigation surrounding second wave contact and social distancing; and 8) Additional COVID-19 related issues such as patient notifications, cleaning processes, etc.