LEXINGTON, Ky. — Baptist Health Lexington is suspending elective procedures at surgeon’s offices associated with the hospital beginning Thursday, March 19. Urgent and emergency procedures will still be performed.
The American College of Surgeons, the U.S. Surgeon General and Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear all have called for elective surgeries to be postponed to meet the rising demand for COVID-19 care and to conserve hospital resources.
As soon as it has been decided to lift these guidelines, surgeon’s offices will reach out to patients affected by this change to reschedule.
“The clinical leadership at each of our hospitals will help refine the scope of procedures that fall into the categories of elective, urgent and emergency procedures,” said Gerard Colman, Baptist Health CEO. “Our medical experts will be making these decisions. Each of our hospitals has different resources and capabilities that need to be considered.”
“We are taking this step to protect our patients while working to conserve supplies, equipment and clinical staff to care for the most urgent and time-sensitive patient needs,” said Dr. Jim Borders, chief medical officer of Baptist Health Lexington.
Elective procedures are defined as those that are necessary, but can be delayed for 30 days without significant risk or harm to the patient.
Urgent cases will generally include procedures that cannot wait 30 days without significant risk to the patient, but in each case will ultimately be determined by the judgment of the physicians in cooperation with medical staff leadership at each facility.
Emergency cases are those that could result in the loss of life, limb or organ, or permanent disability if postponed, so these will be done as they always have been — as quickly as possible.