Teams at Dartmouth General Hospital and the QEII Health Sciences Centre are working to review and adjust surgical schedules to reduce elective surgery volumes by up to 25 per cent over the next couple of weeks.
This is necessary to build capacity (beds, staff) in anticipation of increased COVID-19 admissions, the potential for staffing to be impacted by community exposures, and to allow staff to be redeployed for COVID units and testing centres.
Surgeons’ offices will be notifying patients whose surgeries must be temporarily postponed and will attempt to provide as much advanced notice as possible. However, this situation is changing rapidly and some cases could be impacted with little notice.
Pre-admission appointments and other surgery related clinics, such as surgical consults, are continuing at this time.
Surgery patients who have been scheduled to undergo pre-operative COVID-19 testing, are encouraged to complete this testing. We also remind surgery patients to limit their exposure to others in the days leading up to their surgery, to the greatest extent possible, to minimize the risk of being exposed to COVID-19.
We are hopeful that this situation can be brought under control as quickly as possible, and will work to rebook any patients who had their surgery postponed as quickly as possible.
No other surgical service reductions are planned at this time. On a typical day approximately 100 patients have surgery at these facilities.