We know that many patients and the public in general have questions and concerns about what COVID-19 restrictions will mean for surgical procedures in the Tri-State region. During this time of the COVID-19 crisis, we want to reassure you that we are taking every precautionary measure to ensure a safe and sanitary practice for our patients, visitors, and staff.
What you need to know is that our surgeons and staff are fully dedicated and equipped to perform emergency or urgent surgical procedures. For the safety of our patients and staff, surgical procedures that are not absolutely necessary to perform at this time are being postponed based on the recommendations of the American College of Surgeons’ guidelines to reschedule non-urgent and elective surgeries.
Doing so will not only reduce your exposure to illness but will also help reserve resources such as hospital beds and critical medical equipment for those who are seriously ill with COVID-19.
Why Are Some Procedures Delayed?
While we understand that delaying a procedure is frustrating for many patients, but by reducing the number of surgical procedures at this time helps our community in several ways:
- All medical procedures, even those that are not emergencies, require personal protective equipment (PPE) such as masks, gloves, and gowns. You’ve likely heard on the news that this equipment is in short supply nationwide and is desperately needed by healthcare providers for urgent procedures in our region and other areas that are being hard-hit with COVID-19.
- In addition to PPE, operating rooms have ventilators, or breathing machines, that may be needed to support incoming COVID-19 patients rather than being used for elective or non-emergency procedures.
- All healthcare workers are needed to take care of patients infected by the virus and other critically ill patients who are already hospitalized. By conserving our health care workforce now we will be better able to continue to care for patients in the weeks to come.
- Many people are asymptomatic, or showing no symptoms, even when they have coronavirus. If a patient or their loved ones have an undiagnosed case of COVID-19, it may be transmitted to the health care staff and others in the hospital.
What To Do In The Meantime
If you had a non-emergency procedure scheduled, you will be contacted about how rescheduling your appointment will be handled. Rescheduling will depend on how quickly the COVID-19 crisis resolves, your health status, your surgical team’s schedule and the availability of the facility to schedule your surgery. Your health care team will work to make sure that you are rescheduled as soon as it is safely recommended.
In some cases, your doctor or nurse may be able to provide your care by phone or computer. Some examples when this may apply include post-operative visits, pre-surgical health check-ins, or appointments regarding chronic conditions.
We can all help to resolve this crisis by following the CDC guidelines and the advice of the American College of Surgeons for elective surgery.
Who To Call For Various Medical Situations
If you have an emergency or urgent matter that you suspect may be related to COVID-19, such as difficulty breathing or a high fever that’s not responding to over-the-counter medicines like Tylenol—
- Call 911
If you have an emergency or urgent matter that is not related to COVID-19, such as chest pain, severe pain in your abdomen, trauma from an accident, etc.—
- Call 911
If you suspect you have symptoms of COVID-19, such as a fever or cough, but your symptoms are not an emergency—
- Call your primary care physician, or the nurse triage line at either Deaconess Midtown Hospital (812-450-6555) or St. Vincent-Evansville (833-978-0649). You will be given instructions on what to do.
If you have symptoms of any other medical condition unrelated to COVID-19, but your symptoms are not an emergency—
- Call your primary care physician, or call Evansville Surgical Associates line at 812.424.8231. This line will be open 24/7 to direct calls to our on-call providers as needed.
To recap, always call 911 if you have an emergency or urgent matter, whether or not you suspect your symptoms are related to COVID-19.
If you suspect you have symptoms of COVID-19, such as a fever or cough, but your symptoms are not an emergency, call your primary care physician, or the nurse triage line at either Deaconess Midtown Hospital (812-450-6555) or St. Vincent-Evansville (833-978-0649). You will be given instructions on what to do.
For non-emergency medical issues, our lines at 812.424.8231 will be open 24/7 to direct calls to our on-call providers as needed.
Thank you for your patience in the midst of this rapidly developing situation. With all of us working together to prevent the spread of COVID-19, we hope to return to normal hours of operation as soon as possible. In the meantime, know that our physicians and staff are here to help you.
At Evansville Surgical Associates, we are dedicated to serving our patients with the most state-of-the-art advanced surgical procedures in the Tri-State region. Established in 1969, Evansville Surgical Associates celebrates 50 years of providing leading-edge comprehensive and compassionate surgical care. Learn more about our physicians and our practices by visiting our website, or by calling us at 812.424.8231 or 800.264.8231.