Hospitals react to surge in cases, Cleveland Clinic postpones non-essential surgeries for 2 days

University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center.
Posted at 6:20 AM, Nov 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-12 06:20:52-05

CLEVELAND — The stress of this latest surge is also taking a toll on local hospitals.

Dr. Amy Edwards with University Hospitals said she wouldn’t be surprised if there was a full shutdown like we saw this past March, in our near future.

“We are in a bad situation,” she said. “We are worse off than we were in the spring, so we need to take aggressive action or Ohioans are going to start dying in even larger numbers than we are currently.”

Dr. Edwards said right now, University Hospitals is operating at about 80% capacity. But said if we continue on the path we’re on now with COVID-19 cases surging, the hospital system will reach its limit in a matter of weeks.

“We can’t wait until the hospital is full to stop this because, then, what are you going to do if you have a stroke or heart attack? Then where are you going to go?” she asked.

Dr. Edwards is relieved that Gov. DeWine announced a plan Wednesday to shut down bars, restaurants and gyms again if things don’t change and the other changes he announced like shutting down common areas where people can have gatherings like weddings and baby showers.

“Every time we do contact tracing, every time a patient comes into the hospital and I ask them what they’ve been doing lately? Or where they think they got COVID, it is the same story every time. ‘Oh, everything was going so well we decided to have my niece’s birthday, or we went to our cousin’s house, or we had people over for such in such,’” said Dr. Edwards.

The rise in cases taking a toll on the Cleveland Clinic, too.

The Clinic announced in a statement it would be postponing all non-essential surgeries this Friday and Monday.

The number of hospitalized patients with COVID-19 in Ohio has increased significantly. As cases rise in Northeast Ohio, we are taking proactive steps to ensure that we have the staffing and resources needed to continue safely caring for our patients. We are postponing nonessential surgical cases that require an inpatient hospital stay at most Cleveland Clinic Ohio hospitals for Friday, Nov. 13, and Monday, Nov. 16. These nonessential cases can be safely rescheduled for a later date.

Dr. Kristin Englund, with the Cleveland Clinic, said it’s a way to save space and assess where the hospital stands regarding capacity.

“We need to make sure that we have enough space in our Intensive Care Units and our hospitals for patients not only with COVID but with other medical illnesses that we can’t predict,” said Dr. Englund.