Nanticoke Hospital Pauses Non-Emergency, Elective Surgeries That Require Overnight Stay

(Updated)

Elective, non-emergency procedures that require an overnight stay are temporarily suspended at TidalHealth Nanticoke Hospital in Seaford for at least two weeks.

The pause was announced Monday, the same day it took effect. A previously-announced suspension of elective surgeries at TidalHealth Peninsula Regional Hospital in Salisbury is also in effect.

A multi-disciplinary team is reviewing scheduled non-emergency surgeries, and those that can be postponed will be rescheduled and patients are being notified by their surgeon’s office.

“We made this decision for the safety of our patients,” TidalHealth Nanticoke President of Medical Staff Dr. Joseph Kim said. “We do encourage everyone to receive a COVID-19 vaccination to reduce their chances of needing hospitalization as the Delta variant and other forms of COVID-19 continue to circulate in our area.”

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(original story)

TidalHealth Peninsula Regional Hospital and its practicing surgeons have announced a temporary suspension of elective, non-emergency surgeries that require an overnight stay. The pause starts Monday and will last for at least two weeks.

“TidalHealth has a set of criteria that examines physical bed capacity, unit based staffing, critical care bed saturation and the overall percentage of COVID positive patients based on our total admissions,” TidalHealth Chief Nursing Officer Sarah Arnett, DNP, MS, RN, NEA-BC said. “The trigger point to discuss reduction in elective procedures is when we have exceeded our defined thresholds in three or more criteria for several days, which we have.”

he same criteria are measured daily at TidalHealth Nanticoke Hospital in Seaford, but non-emergency procedures will continue there for the time being.

TidalHealth said it is working with local nursing schools to increase the supply of newly trained nurses for the future.

“Patients who are ill with COVID are contributing to put stress and significant demand on the limited resources of the Emergency Department, hospital floors and the ICU, and the vast majority who are getting sick enough with COVID to require hospitalization are unvaccinated,” TidalHealth Peninsula Regional Hospital Medical Staff President Mark Edney, MD, MBA said. “The subject of COVID vaccination has unfortunately become politicized, but there are some truths based on available community data and on current medical science that are indisputable.”

“What clearly is happening, however, is that unvaccinated people are getting COVID at an unprecedented rate, they are getting sick and are requiring hospitalization. This preventable stress on our already stressed healthcare system contributes to delays in care across the board,” TidalHealth CEO Steve Leonard, PhD, MBA, FACHE said. “These delays affect those seeking care in the emergency room for a variety of non-COVID emergencies, and with the pausing of elective procedures requiring a hospital overnight stay, now new delays for our friends and neighbors who need surgery.”