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VCU Health in response to resuming elective surgeries: “We are ready to serve you safely.”

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Extra safety and infection prevention measures in place to resume elective surgeries and procedures, postponed care.

RICHMOND, Va. (April 29, 2020) – VCU Health is ready to resume elective surgeries and procedures for both pediatric and adult patients, such as joint replacements, when the state’s ban on elective surgeries lifts on May 1.

“We never stopped providing life-saving care at our hospitals, such as transplants, trauma surgeries or cancer care,” said Dr. Ron Clark, Interim CEO of VCU Hospitals and Clinics. “For weeks, we have worked on a roadmap to resume elective surgeries and postponed procedures, with safety as our top priority. This plan is now activated, and we are in the process of re-introducing services gradually.”

VCU Health has taken steps to prevent the spread of the coronavirus and keep our patients, team members and community safe:

  • We are testing every patient for COVID-19 before undergoing surgery, so our teams can take the proper safety measures to care for them and keep others safe. In addition, we are testing all patients before admission to the hospital.
     
  • We continue using telehealth for patient appointments and to communicate with patients both before and after their surgery.
     
  • We are piloting drive-thru pre-operative testing for surgery patients next week to reduce the amount of time spent in public waiting areas.  
     
  • We screen everyone for coronavirus symptoms at our entrances and encourage everyone who enters our facilities to wear a mask. If you do not have one, we will provide one. 
     
  • We have extra hand-washing stations, robust cleaning and disinfecting protocols for our rooms and equipment, and protocols for treating patients with coronavirus symptoms in designated areas to minimize the spread of COVID-19.

Already, VCU Health is performing select surgeries and procedures for cancer, infection and neurological conditions that were delayed due to COVID-19 and are urgently needed.

In addition to resuming elective surgeries safely, VCU Health is urging the community not to postpone necessary or emergency care.

Emergency rooms across the United States are seeing a decrease in visits due to fears of the virus. Paralleling a national trend, from March 20 - April 20, VCU Medical Center saw a 37% decline in patients seeking emergency care for stroke compared to the same time last year.

“It is safe to come to the hospital. It is not safe to ignore symptoms that are problematic,” Clark said.