One-day elective surgeries moving forward; others on hold

By , Daily Memphian Updated: December 03, 2020 12:18 PM CT | Published: December 03, 2020 12:13 PM CT
<strong>Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare is resuming elective surgeries.&nbsp;</strong>(Patrick Lantrip/Daily Memphian file)&nbsp;

Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare is resuming elective surgeries. (Patrick Lantrip/Daily Memphian file) 

Elective surgeries are resuming, but slowly, in Memphis metro-area hospitals.

Methodist, which halted elective surgeries earlier this week, was back to 50% of capacity by Wednesday, Dec. 2. Those cases were only people who would not require an overnight stay.

“Hospital leadership across the Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare system continue to look at electives on a case by case basis to make sure all patients are receiving the care they need,” Methodist said early Thursday.

“We fully anticipate that we will pause elective procedures again in anticipation for increased COVID cases stemming from the recent Thanksgiving holiday. It typically takes from 7-10 days before those cases begin to show up.”

On Monday, Nov. 30, Baptist Memorial Hospital-Memphis began postponing surgeries requiring an overnight stay, unless they were urgent.

“We are still working with physicians and patients to reschedule elective procedures that require an overnight stay, when possible,” said Ayoka Pond, a Baptist spokeswoman.

Wednesday, Baptist had 160 COVID-19 patients at its Memphis hospital and 64 in DeSoto County; 21 were on ventilators.

Hospitals suspending elective surgeries

Methodist had 219 COVID-19 patients on Nov. 30, a record. By Wednesday, the number had dropped to 205, up from 195 last week.

“COVID-19 does continue to strain not just our hospital, but our entire hospital system,” said Dr. Shailesh Patel, chief medical officer at Methodist’s Olive Branch hospital.

On Wednesday, Methodist had 77 COVID-19 patients in the ICU, up from 67 on Tuesday.

Methodist, which has hired 71 nurses for short-term assignments through a seasonal recruitment bonus program, is also trying to recruit staff internationally. It did not comment on those efforts, including the nations they are targeting.


Dr. Shailesh Patel elective surgery Baptist Memorial Health Care Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare
Jane Roberts

Jane Roberts

Longtime journalist Jane Roberts is a Minnesotan by birth and a Memphian by choice. She's lived and reported in the city more than two decades. She covers business news and features for The Daily Memphian.


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