Hospitals to Postpone Additional Non-Urgent Surgeries to Increase ICU Access

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Emily Kumlien

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UW Health COVID-19 Resources

Madison, Wisconsin – As we see a continued number of COVID-19 hospitalizations locally and across Wisconsin, UnityPoint Health – Meriter, SSM Health St. Mary's Hospital-Madison and UW Health are making additional adjustments to increase ICU capacity.


All three health systems have and will continue to make additional reductions to non-urgent procedures and surgeries that may result in use of an ICU bed. These cases will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis, and if deemed medically appropriate, may be postponed so those staff and beds can be used for patients with urgent or emergent needs. Impacted services, schedules, and operational details may vary by location and health system. Care teams will reach out directly to affected patients whose procedures will be rescheduled.


This prioritization process allows more clinical staff, hospital beds, and other resources to be available for a growing number of COVID-19 patients and other urgent medical needs. Staffing and space at each of our hospitals is currently strained. While we recognize this is difficult for our patients who experience a schedule change, we must prioritize the urgent health needs of our local community and surrounding region.


Urgent procedures like c-sections, appendectomies, bone fracture repair and other emergency surgeries will continue at all of our hospitals. If you are experiencing a medical emergency, call 911 or go to the Emergency Department. All hospitals have a number of precautions in place to keep our patients and staff safe.


We continue to ask our community to help us respond to the pandemic by staying home whenever possible, wearing a mask, physically distancing and washing their hands.

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Date Published: 11/14/2020

News tag(s):  coronavirus

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