Huntsville Hospital cancels some elective surgeries, adds coronavirus floors to manage cases

The hospital said Monday staff who was assigned to elective surgery will be reassigned to help with coronavirus cases.

Posted: Jul 6, 2020 7:36 PM
Updated: Jul 6, 2020 9:01 PM

Huntsville Hospital announced on Monday it has decided to cancel some elective surgeries.

Tracy Doughty, Senior Vice President of Operations, said there are currently 72 patients hospitalized with coronavirus in Madison County.

"The hospital this time of year is already full, so you add 72 more patients who are sick on top of that and it adds a little bit of stress in some areas," he said.

Doughty explained the surgeries canceled at the main campus are those that require a bed and an overnight stay at the hospital. However, it won't impact the Women and Children's Hospital and Madison campuses.

"To relieve that stress, we work with our surgeons, who have been wonderful about it, to delay some of those elective surgeries of the ones that can wait another couple of weeks, a week or two, to free up beds and nurses to take care of COVID-19 patients," he said.

The hospital converted three floors to treat coronavirus patients, last week the hospital only needed one floor converted. Doughty said if needed, more can be converted.

"We have other floors we will convert over as we reduce the number of elective surgeries and other things," he said.

Doughty said the entire hospital system is planning for a rise in cases after the holiday weekend,.

"For the 4th of July weekend, if people were spreading the disease that weekend they won't start showing symptoms for five to seven days afterward. We wouldn't know that from this past weekend," he said.

Doughty said the hospital is not furloughing any workers. Staff who worked on elective surgeries that were canceled will now be re-assigned to other work at the hospital or at the Fever and Flu Clinic or drive-thru testing site.

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