Corona virus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

What is coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)?

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a respiratory illness. It’s caused by a new (novel) coronavirus called SARS-CoV-2. There are many types of coronavirus. Coronaviruses are a very common cause of bronchitis. They may sometimes cause lung infection (pneumonia). Symptoms can range from mild to severe respiratory illness. These viruses are also found in some animals.

COVID-19 and Surgical Procedures: A Guide for Patients

 The country is responding to a new virus known as Coronavirus Disease 19 or COVID-19. COVID-19 rapidly spreads from person-to-person contact and is also transmitted as it can stay alive and contagious for many days on surfaces. COVID-19 has resulted in our hospitals and health care system being strained by the number of critically ill people.

For your safety, and to ensure that resources, hospital beds, and equipment are available to patients critically ill with COVID-19, we recommend that non-emergency procedures be delayed.


Why are surgeries being postponed?

The need for these delays is important because:

  • Non-emergency procedures require personal protective equipment such as masks, gloves and gowns. This equipment is in short supply right now and is desperately needed by health care providers in the hardest-hit areas caring for COVID-19 patients.
  • Patients and their loved ones or caretakers might have an undiagnosed case of COVID-19. This disease may be transmitted to the health care staff and others in the hospital.
  • All health care workers are needed to take care of patients infected by the virus and the critically ill already hospitalized. The health care workforce is already strained and will continue to be so in the weeks to come.
  • Operating rooms have ventilators (breathing machines) that may be needed to support COVID-19 patients rather than being utilized for elective procedures.
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