Precautions in place as elective surgeries restarted in Virginia last week

(Source: MGN)
(Source: MGN)(NBC15)
Published: May. 10, 2020 at 4:14 PM EDT
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Hospitals across Virginia are picking up where they left off with elective surgeries and procedures after being given the green light last week.

At Sentara Martha Jefferson Hospital, elective surgeries have restarted. While concerns still linger about the potential transmission of COVID-19, they say they are taking every precaution in the book to ensure everyone is safe. The return of elective surgeries is a big win for the healthcare community, where many hospitals have been losing millions as a result of elective surgeries being cancelled or delayed.

“It allows us to begin to take care of our community again, you know we are here we are a community hospital," Crawford said. "We come here to take care of the patients that come to us for help.”

Although many procedures are considered elective, putting them on hold meant leaving some patients in misery, living through pain or suffering lost mobility. Now, the waiting game is over.

“We’re allowing the patients who are sick or hurt to to get back to their jobs or their lives,” Orthopedic Surgeon Dr. Matthew Panzarella said.

While coronavirus is still a concern, Martha Jefferson has steps in place to protect patients and ease their fears, including screening patients the day before.

“A really great team has worked together to develop a process here that allows the patient to be very safe, isolated from the rest of the hospital,” Dr. Panzarella said.

“We started pre-testing our scheduled surgical patients," Crawford said. "Those patients are strongly recommended to stay at home to reduce their risk of exposure.”

Patients are especially grateful to finally get the medical attention they’ve been waiting for.

“They’ve been waiting for this for almost two months now," Dr. Panzarella said. "It’s been a very positive response from the patients and they’re ready to kind of get their their lives back so to speak and not be living in pain.”

Martha Jefferson Hospital has no formal timeline at this point, but they eventually hope to expand service in a slow and controlled way to eventually get back to a “Pre-COVID” state.