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Mountain Health Network hospitals Cabell Huntington Hospital and St. Mary's Medical Center.

Hospitals reschedule certain elective operations

HUNTINGTON — In response to the state’s surge in COVID-19 cases, Cabell Huntington Hospital and St. Mary’s Medical Center are monitoring elective procedures and will determine if non-time sensitive procedures that require hospitalization can be rescheduled without affecting patient outcomes.

This measure will begin Monday, Dec. 7 and continue through Friday, Jan. 15.

The decision, which was unanimously recommended by the combined Medical Executive Committees of CHH and SMMC on Tuesday, according to a release, was made after West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice’s appeal to prioritize the use of hospital beds throughout the state in earlier this week.

“We are joining hospitals across West Virginia in conserving hospital beds to support the surge in COVID-19 hospitalizations,” said Dr. Hoyt Burdick, chief medical officer, Mountain Health Network, in a release. “We are evaluating and postponing certain elective surgical cases that are likely to require hospitalization. Both CHH and SMMC will continue to provide surgeries for patients whose operative condition represents a threat to their lives or a threat of permanent dysfunction. Examples include cancer, cardiovascular, and certain neurological cases. Outpatient cases not requiring hospitalization are currently planned to continue, as resources allow.”

Both CHH and SMMC have implemented procedures to identify and care for patients in the safest manner possible to protect patients and employees. Each hospital’s medical staff has established a physician-led team for review of all operative cases to determine if they fall under the criteria for nonelective surgery.

“While we are complying with the Governor’s request to ensure beds in anticipation of a COVID surge, we are concerned about our staff’s safety and this decision helps to protect them,” said Mike Mullins, president and CEO of Mountain Health Network. “Thank you to our medical staff, front line staff, and leadership team who have done an outstanding job remaining committed and engaged, not only during this crisis, but every day.”

Mountain Health Network is working together with local, state and national public health officials; the Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine; and first responders to coordinate efforts and to assure an organized response to the community’s health care needs, the release says.

Patients will be contacted regarding their specific elective procedures and surgeries. Patients with questions should contact their physician.

The no-visitation policy remains in effect and everyone should wear a mask while in the hospitals.

There were 1,154 active COVID-19 cases in Cabell County as of Friday morning, and 17,716 active statewide.

Friday morning, 1,147 new positive cases were reported in West Virginia along with 10 new deaths: a 53-year-old woman from Hardy County, a 72-year-old woman from Lewis County, a 64-year-old man from Marshall County, a 55-year-old man from Kanawha County, a 65-year-old man from Berkeley County, an 82-year-old woman from Mingo County, a 89-year-old man from Brooke County, a 95-year-old woman from Putnam County, an 85-year-old woman from Putnam County, and a 94-year-old woman from Ohio County.

Reporter Taylor Stuck can be reached at Follow her on Twitter and Facebook @TaylorStuckHD.

Reporter Taylor Stuck can be reached at Follow her on Twitter and Facebook @TaylorStuckHD.

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