Anne Arundel Medical Center, owned by Luminis Health, is delaying some elective surgeries that require overnight care, starting Monday. However, surgeries in which patients can be discharged the same day will continue.
According to The Capital Gazette, the delay is due to the increase in COVID-19 patients that need longer-term care in hospital beds and the overall increase in the number of patient in its emergency rooms. The hospital is still figuring out if the surgeries will be rescheduled to a later date or delayed indefinitely.
About 60 elective surgeries are performed at the hospital daily and it only expects 10 procedures to be affected by the delay at most.
Currently, Anne Arundel Medical Center is experiencing a 4% increase in patient volumes compared to 2019. As of last Friday, 42 COVID-19 patients were being treated at the hospital and four of them were in the ICU.
“Not only are we taking care of the patients who have COVID pneumonia and other complications of COVID, we have very high emergency department volumes,” Dr. Stephen Selinger, chief medical officer at AAMC, told The Capital. “And so we need this capacity (from elective surgeries) to take care of our community, and particularly the patients who are coming to our emergency department.”
The hospital said it does not want to cancel any surgeries but believes it’s the best approach for now.
It plans to evaluate the pause on a weekly basis. Other hospitals in the Baltimore area said they did not plan on suspending elective surgeries.