Area Hospitals plan to allow non-emergency procedures

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TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV)– Indiana Govenor Eric Holcomb lifed restrictions on hospitals perforing non-emergency medical procedures.

Those procedures are defined as procedures that diagnose disease or reduce pain.

Jim McKinney, a Sullivan resident, was scheduled to have hip joint replacement surgery on March 23.

He said after the pandemic developed he made the decision to postpone his procedure, due to concerns of contracting COVID-19.

“I decided to wait until some time, first part of May, which they said that would be fine. We haven’t set an actual date. We’re just waiting on this virus to cease because I don’t want to take any chances,” McKinney explained.

According to officials at Terre Haute Regional Hospital, hundreds of elective surgeries have been postponed or cancelled.

Nathan Vooys, CEO of Regional Hospital, said the state restrictions have had a significant impact on hospital operations.

“For most hospitals and healthcare institutions across the country, the stay at home orders and the requirements to limit your elective procedures has had a very negative impact on hospital financial positions and overall hospital operations are disrupted a lot by those types of things,” he said.

Vooys said they do plan to allow non-emergency procedures to be conducted, but they will continue to monitor the pandemic and proceed with caution.

“We will continue to preserve our PPE, so our gloves, our gowns, our masks,” Vooys noted. “We will continue to monitor our capacity and space in the hospital but also equipment such as ventilators. We do intend to be able to be ready at anytime should there be an uptick in the number of patients seeking care for COVID or COVID-like symptoms.”

Officials at Regional Hospital advised that patients consult with their primary physician and discuss what method best suits their health.

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