UNMC to limit surgeries due to COVID-19 surge

With a steadily increasing number of patients admitted with COVID-19 and staff shortages, UNMC made the decision to limit the surgeries.
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) – The University of Nebraska Medical Center will now limit the type of surgeries done due to a COVID-19 surge.

“We need to make changes to make sure we have beds for patients and access for patients needing time-sensitive, medically-necessary procedures,” said Matt Pospisil, Vice President of Operations at Nebraska Medicine.

With a steadily increasing number of patients admitted with COVID-19 and staff shortages, UNMC made the decision to limit the surgeries.

UNMC also says emergency room visits have increased 30% in comparison to last year, leading to an increase in demand for hospital beds.

“It is difficult to anticipate what the next several weeks or months may bring. If demand for beds decreases, we will change our approach accordingly,” said Pospisil.

Beginning on Monday, Dec. 13, the changes to the surgery schedule will be in effect. The full list of changes:

  • Cases classified as D, E and some C will be reviewed and possibly canceled at Hixson-Lied and C.L. Werner Hospital.
  • The Pre-op and Post Anesthesia Care Unit areas of C.L. Werner Hospital will be used to hold surgery patients waiting for an inpatient bed.
  • To create access at other locations, OR capacity is expanding at Bellevue Medical Center and Fritch Surgery Center as resources allow.
  • Outpatient procedures (GI, IR, cath lab, EP Lab, pain) will continue as normal. Case classification should be reviewed for patients requiring an overnight or inpatient stay, and D and E cases should be removed from the schedule.

UNMC classifies C, D and E surgeries as:

  • Class C – Time-sensitive outcome necessitating procedure within four weeks: scheduled at the discretion of the surgical/anesthesiology medical director.
  • Class C1 – Time-sensitive outcome necessitating procedure within one to two weeks.
  • Class C2 – Time-sensitive outcome necessitating procedure within two to four weeks.
  • Class D – Can wait four to 12 weeks or longer without substantial change in outcome: reschedule at Nebraska Medicine for later date.
  • Class E – Can wait greater than 12 weeks without substantial change in outcome: postpone and reassess in 12 weeks for rescheduling at Nebraska Medicine.

“Please encourage the people in your life who are not vaccinated to get vaccinated,” said Pospisil.

Categories: Nebraska News, News