As the government works to contain the spread of the new coronavirus, Dr. Deborah Birx, Response Coordinator for the White House Coronavirus Task Force, called for physicians and dentists to stop all elective surgeries for the time being. This is not only to minimize the spread of the infectious disease, but to preserve essential supplies, such as masks, gloves, and gowns, for those on the front lines treating seriously ill patients. At the same time, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is preparing for a sharp increase in cases over the coming months.
A global pandemic
While that sounds like the title of a movie, it’s the story we are all living right now. As of March 29, the novel coronavirus, also called COVID-19, is in almost every country in the world. 710,290 cases and 33,550 deaths have been reported, and that number is rising by the minute.
The coronavirus is a respiratory disease that causes:
- Sore throat
- Difficulty breathing
It’s easily spread from person-to-person contact, or by touching surfaces that are infected with the virus and transferring it to your mouth, nose, or eyes when you touch your face. In some cases, the new illness is life-threatening. If you develop severe difficulty breathing, pain in your chest, or blue lips, seek medical care immediately.
According to the World Health Organization, COVID-19 has a 2-14 day incubation period. If you’ve been exposed to someone who may have the virus, it’s important to isolate yourself for two weeks to prevent the spread to others.
Pushing pause on elective surgeries
Because of the widespread outbreak of coronavirus, the American College of Surgeons (ACS) has recommended the following:
- Postpone and reschedule elective surgeries
- If an elective procedure is urgent, move it to an outpatient facility
As always, our team at Desert West Surgery is passionate about providing you the highest caliber surgical care. We aim to continue serving you with excellence throughout this pandemic. At this time, we are working diligently to deploy telemedicine so we can work with you remotely when possible, and using the CDC’s guidelines, see you in person as necessary.
As you know, coronavirus news and research are changing daily. We are following COVID-19 elective case guidelines to keep you safe. While we have temporarily suspended non-emergency procedures, we are still here for your healthcare needs. Call us to discuss your care plan. We’re in this together. To learn more, call the location closest to you.