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Local hospitals postpone thousands of elective procedures during COVID-19


Representatives from hospitals in Columbia announced last week they will slowly begin to schedule more procedures and surgeries that are not related to COVID-19.

Hospitals are still working to make changes to keep patients and workers safe, including limiting seating in waiting areas and screening people as they come into the hospital.

They are still not allowing guests into the hosptials.

During the battle against COVID-19, local hospitals have postponed thousands of elective procedures, defined by Boone Hospital as procedures that "can be delayed eight weeks or more without appreciable risk to patients or families, and without compromising the standard of care for known conditions."

Since March 23, Boone Hospital has rescheduled approximately 1,000 elective procedures.

At University Hospital around 1,200 procedures were canceled in four weeks, averaging 60 fewer operating room procedures per day.

One local center has helped hospitals deal with the influx of COVID-19 patients, and predicts it will see more patients as services at local hospitals ramp up.

Nickie Hunt is CEO of Landmark Hospital in Columbia.

"We are a post-acute ICU level care specialty hospital. So we provide care to those patients who are coming out of an ICU type level of care that need a little longer, and then also in an ICU level as far as greater than 25 days possibly" Hunt said.

The facility also has a rehabilitation hospital.

"Because we take care of those ventilated patients and help them recover and wean them off of the ventilators we've seen an initial increase in those patients as we helped clear out the ICUs from our referral sources to get them ready," Hunt said. "Also we anticipate seeing an increase in those patients as patients begin to recover from COVID-19. "

Hunt said the facility's main patient area is COVID free. Like hospitals, they have been screening patients and visitors to keep people safe.

"We do have a plan that would be in a separate area and a separate team that would take care of those patients," Hunt said.

Hunt said she expects to see an increase of patients as the number of people recovering from the virus increases, and as people are requiring more rehabilitation after recovery from the virus.

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Sydney Olsen

Sydney Olsen reports in the evenings during the week and on the weekend.


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