Updated: Jul 13, 2020
Photo by Adhy Sayala on Unsplash
The covid-19 pandemic has taken the world by storm and is continuing to affect millions of lives around the world. As of June 4th, 2020 there have been over 100,000 deaths due to covid-19 in the United States. The economic impact of the pandemic has led to approximately 28.5 million Americans having to file for unemployment. Covid-19 has also resulted in much strain on the healthcare system. According to HeathCare Leaders, one quarter of the rural hospitals in America are at risk of closing due to covid-19. On top of all of this, another striking issue has risen: a reduction in elective surgical procedures.
Elective surgical procedures are procedures that a patient needs, but they do not have to have done immediately. Often, elective surgeries are planned ahead of time and can drastically improve a patient’s quality of life. Common elective surgical procedures include bariatric surgery, colectomy, and hernia repair. All of these surgeries can provide patients with reduced pain and a higher quality of life. However, due to the stress put on hospitals during the covid-19 pandemic and the risks of contracting the highly contagious virus, many patients and physicians are choosing to hold off on these procedures.
The significant reduction in elective surgeries across the United States are leaving many patients in pain. In an interview with USA Today, Margie Thompson, a 64 year old teacher, reported having her hip replacement surgery postponed due to the covid-19 strains at her local hospital. When asked about how it has affected her, Thompon said, “It’s just really hard to live every day life. It’s hard to teach, I often have to sit down. This has really limited my physical activity.” Patients across the United States have had their surgeries postponed due to the covid-19 pandemic and it has left them in debilitating pain.
To help fight the covid-19 pandemic hospitals around the United States have been rescheduling elective surgeries. This has allowed hospitals to have more bed space and staff available to aid in the battle against covid-19. As corona-virus cases in many epicenters such as New York City start to reduce, hospitals will be able to build capacity for elective surgeries. Many Americans have been left in pain over the past couple months, but now many hospitals are once again allowing for elective surgeries to be completed. Hopefully, Americans will now be able to have the procedures they need so that they can continue to live life to the fullest.