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Coronavirus in Florida

Florida Hospital Association supports halting elective surgeries

The board voted to support the move on Thursday.

The Florida Hospital Association’s board voted Thursday to support postponing elective surgeries and procedures at its member hospitals.

The vote is a recommendation, but many hospitals have stopped performing such procedures to their full staff of medical professionals can give the new coronavirus their undivided attention.

“The safety and well-being of our patients, workforce and communities are always our highest priorities,” FHA Interim President Crystal Stickle said in a news release. “That’s why Florida’s hospitals are standing together in strong support for responsible measures that will protect our staff and preserve limited resources needed to combat COVID-19, such as personal protective equipment and available beds.

“While many hospitals have proactively moved in this direction, today the Florida Hospital Association board of trustees voted to stand in support of postponing elective surgeries and procedures.

“The Board also expressed support for American College of Surgeons’ COVID-19: Guidance for Triage of Non-Emergent Surgical Procedures to appropriately triage clinical decision making for elective surgeries and procedures.

“Our hospitals and health systems will continue to work closely with our physicians, clinical care teams and patients to ensure those in need of critical surgeries and procedures have access to safe, effective care. This guidance will further assist clinicians in the surgical decision-making process to triage nonemergent operations.”

The board’s vote comes as hospitals nationwide are struggling with treating the influx of people infected with the new coronavirus.

In some states, Governors have signed executive orders mandating the postponement of elective surgeries, such as knee replacements. Other facilities are postponing cancer and heart surgeries.

FHA’s vote comes as the number of coronavirus cases in the state has climbed to 390, including 360 Florida residents and 30 non-Florida residents.

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