Local hospitals balance surgeries, staffing and COVID | News, Sports, Jobs

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WHEELING – WVU Medicine Wheeling Hospital has been forced to postpone some of its elective surgeries due to staffing issues.

“Some elective surgeries are being postponed because we are experiencing the same staffing issues faced by hospitals across the country. However, emergency surgeries continued uninterrupted,” said Kareen Simon, vice president and chief operating officer of WVU Medicine Wheeling Hospital.

Meanwhile, the hospital is ready to receive other COVID-19 patients with the expected spike in the omicron variant.

State health officials said this week they expect omicron cases to peak in about two weeks, with increased hospitalizations and deaths to follow.

Wheeling Hospital is prepared for a possible increase in the number of cases.

“We are dealing with the rise in cases on a day-to-day basis and do not anticipate running out of beds,” Simon said.

At WVU Medicine Reynolds Memorial, COO Tony Martinelli said the facility has also had to delay some surgeries, but not cancel them.

“We monitor our hospital’s capacity daily to ensure that we are able to continue to provide the highest level of care to our patients,” Martinelli said. “We have seen limited elective procedures delayed, but not cancelled. Our staff continues to rise to the occasion as we enter the third year of this pandemic. We cannot thank them enough for their dedication. »

Martinelli said delays in surgeries can happen for a variety of reasons.

“If our capacity meetings determine that we need to move staff or resources to care for patients whose care cannot be delayed, we may need to postpone elective procedures to ensure we have the appropriate staff and resources. to care for these patients,” he said.

Regarding preparation for a potential omicron push, Dr. Jamie Evick, vice president of medical affairs, WVU Medicine Reynolds Memorial Hospital, said Reynolds and Wheeling Hospital have formed a “true partnership to provide the most high standard of care for our patients”.

“There are daily and fluid discussions between all levels of hospitals to continuously assess and meet hospital needs, such as bed capacity, staffing, materials and supplies,” Evick said.

“As a team, we have prepared and continue to prepare to be flexible, to adapt, to recruit staff and to care for patients as surges have occurred and continue to occur,” a- she added. “As we enter the third year of this pandemic, we thank all of our employees for their dedication and commitment to our community and our patients. »

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