The COVID-19 pandemic has certainly turned our lives upside down. But why are elective surgeries cancelled?
The Current SituationRight now, the most important thing any of us can do for ourselves, our families, and our fellow human beings is flatten the curve by social distancing. Staying home and if you can’t stay home, staying apart, will be the most important thing most of us can contribute to getting past this catastrophe. As physicians, we have decisions we can and have to make to affect the outcome of this pandemic. I think of these as three levers that I can pull to help improve everyone’s outcome from COVID-19
- Save personal protective equipment (PPE) for those who need it more. Currently our normal supply chain is not consistent, and we don’t want to take masks and gowns from those taking care of our loved ones in the ERs and ICUs.
- Save physician resources for those who need it more. It takes a big team to pull off an orthopedic surgery. Some of those team members can and are being used to take care of COVID patients and we don’t want to stretch them thin.
- Limit exposure of healthy patients to sick patients. Most orthopedic patients are “broken” but not sick and most of our surgeries are done in hospitals or surgery centers with other specialties. Exposing you as an orthopedic patient to potential COVID infections and then sending you home to your families put you and your family at risk. Our goal is always to first do no harm.