Florida, Louisiana hospitals postpone surgeries due to surge in COVID cases

July 27, 2021  –  Hospitals in Florida and Louisiana are beginning to postpone elective surgeries as COVID-19 cases begin to rise again.

Brevard County, Florida’s three major hospital companies — Health First, Steward Health Care ,and Parrish Healthcare — all have reported increases in their COVID-19 patient counts in recent weeks.

There were 2,166 cases of the virus reported in Brevard County last week, compared to 1,443 cases reported in the previous week and 693 cases reported the week before that.

Health First (C, FL) is limiting elective surgical procedures at its four Brevard County hospitals, effective Thursday and continuing through Aug. 15, in reaction to a surge in COVID-19 patients. About 25% of Health First’s surgeries are affected, including knee and shoulder orthopedic procedures.

Louisiana hospitals are also canceling electives as they grapple with rising COVID-19 cases.

Our Lady of the Lake (Baton Rouge, LA), an 800-bed hospital, will temporarily halt scheduling any new elective inpatient surgeries, effective July 26. The change will last for three weeks. The hospital is still providing outpatient procedures that do not require overnight hospitalization.

Our Lady of the Lake said July 26 that the hospital admitted 25 new COVID-19 patients in the last 24 hours, and there were 112 COVID-19 patients admitted, with 40 percent of those in the intensive care unit. This compares to June 14, when there were 35 COVID-19 patients at Our Lady of the Lake.

New Orleans-based LCMC Health also paused elective surgeries indefinitely beginning July 26 to shift workers to critical care units.

According to nola.com, Ochsner Health has also said that the health system’s individual facilities may reduce or postpone nonemergency surgeries requiring overnight hospitalization based on resources and staffing. St. Tammany Health System (Covington, LA) said it would reschedule elective surgeries requiring hospitalization during the next week.

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