Some Central Florida hospitals suspending elective surgeries to make room for COVID patients

As COVID-19 cases increase in Central Florida, some hospitals are trying to make room for those patients.

HCA Healthcare North Florida says four of its locations will push back elective surgeries again as more people sick with coronavirus fill hospital beds and ICUs.

“The situation is getting pretty dire and urgent,” said Dr. Sumeet Bhavsar, an Envision HCA physician. “We’re completely seeing this new younger generation coming through that are very sick with coronavirus symptoms from 20s to 50s.”

HCA Healthcare North Florida says because of the rise in COVID19 cases, starting Thursday they’ll be deferring elective surgeries to increase bed capacity.

A statement from HCA says in part: “This measure will be implemented as part of established hospital surge plans and is being done to ensure our care teams can continue to deliver safe, effective, and compassionate care…”

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The Central Florida hospitals included in the plan are Central Florida Regional Hospital, Osceola Regional Medical center, Oviedo Medical Center, and Poinciana Medical Center.

“We are getting called in more often. There are more physicians working than usual because there are more patients,” Bhavsar described.

Back in March, Governor Ron Desantis prohibited non-essential elective surgeries statewide. That mandate was later lifted. Now, hospitals acting on their own.

FOX 35 News also reached out to AdventHealth and Orlando Health about postponing elective surgeries. Both sent us statements.

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“As we expand space, and as we expand staffing, it’s more of a dial than a switch. We would typically curtail certain things to make certain space or staff available. You try to continue to do as much as you can because the backlog, even from April, is there. People need care, they need procedures. We are continuing to do elective procedures today, but we are ready to turn the dial if we need to for space and staff,” said Daryl Tol, AdventHealth Central Florida Division CEO

“Orlando Health is committed to and capable of caring for COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 diagnosed patients. As a large healthcare system with 13 hospitals and emergency rooms, and the area’s only Level One Trauma Center, we are accustomed to managing a diverse population of patients with multiple levels of acuity. Our original COVID-19 safety practices remain in operation, including the use of virtual visits, hospital visitation restrictions and virus testing for patients undergoing medical procedures or women in labor. Orlando Health is maintaining adequate bed capacity and PPE across our network as we continue to schedule and safely perform necessary medical procedures,” read a statement from Orlando Health.