BayCare Pauses All Elective Surgeries in Pinellas Pasco and Polk Counties
BayCare will pause elective surgeries and procedures at all of its hospitals in Pinellas, Pasco and Polk counties, regardless of whether they require an overnight stay, starting Saturday, Aug. 14. This will help reserve resources for the urgent and emergent needs of severely ill patients. Earlier this month, BayCare paused all elective surgeries in its Hillsborough County hospitals.
“COVID-19 hospitalizations have increased 10-fold since the beginning of July, and today we have more than 1,000 COVID positive patients in our 14 acute care hospitals across the Tampa Bay area,” said Glenn Waters, chief operating officer for BayCare. “We’re making these operational adjustments to be sure we can continue providing safe, high-quality care to the recent influx of COVID patients in addition to hundreds of other people in our hospitals with unrelated, serious medical issues.”
Elective procedures are those that can be delayed without danger to the patient. By pausing elective surgeries, hospitals can reserve staff and resources to care for those with urgent health care needs that require immediate attention. BayCare has a clinical review process to consider requests by patients or doctors who receive a cancellation notice but believe the procedure is medically necessary and should proceed.
“We deeply regret the impact this can make on many people,” Waters said. “We will continue to evaluate the situation and determine at a later date when we can reschedule these appointments.”
Form the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, BayCare has continuously adapted its operations to serve the community, including shifting resources to properly respond to the spread of the virus – while also making sure facilities are safe and available to serve other health care needs.
In recent weeks, BayCare hospitals have seen a rapid increase in COVID-19 hospitalizations due to the spread of the highly contagious Delta variant. The vast majority of these patients were not vaccinated against COVID-19. BayCare urges everyone who is eligible to get a COVID-19 vaccine, as it is the best line of defense against serious complications from a COVID infection.
For the latest information on COVID-19, visit BayCare.org/Coronavirus.