Elective Surgeries to Resume at Humboldt General Hospital

Humboldt General Hospital is resuming elective surgeries and procedures in compliance with current medical guidelines and in concert with other hospitals throughout the state.

The hospital had cancelled elective surgical procedures in March at the recommendation of national physician and healthcare organizations that worried a surge in COVID-19 patients could overwhelm medical facilities.

Physicians also backed off elective surgeries to conserve the amount of personal protective equipment available; testing at the time also was limited.

However, Interim CEO Karen Cole said the hospital’s capacity, staffing levels, ventilator usage and inventories of personal protective equipment like masks and test kits now provide a great deal of confidence that elective surgeries can begin again.

“Many of our patients have had their needed, but not essential, surgeries postponed,” she said. “While these have not been life or death procedures, they are important to our patients’ continued health and well-being.”

Cole continued, “Re-opening access to care for more patients, in an environment that is safe, is in the best interests of our patients and our staff.”

Humboldt General Hospital Chief of Staff and General Surgeon Paul Gaulin agreed.

“We’ve always had universal safety precautions for everyone in the hospital and operating room,” said Dr. Gaulin. “Now with expanded and added safety procedures in place, we are confident our patients can address their health needs before they become urgent.”

Cole noted that some of the hospital’s enhanced safety measures include robust patient, staff and visitor screening protocols; universal masking; and enhanced cleaning procedures.

Additionally, the hospital has expanded its COVID-19 testing capabilities for patients who are scheduled for a treatment, procedure or surgery; all staff also are screened twice during each shift to ensure their health.

Last week, the State of Nevada conducted a hospital-wide infection control survey that not only resulted in no deficiencies, but drew compliments from inspectors on the hospital’s policies and procedures for isolating and caring for COVID-19 patients while continuing to care for medical unit patients, perform emergency surgeries, and assist women in the births of their new babies.

“It is safe to receive care on our campus,” said Cole. “We are ready to welcome more patients back on-site, while remaining capable of rapidly shifting to address a more aggressive COVID environment should circumstances change.”

Patients may call to schedule an appointment for a surgical consult as follows: General Surgery (775) 621-5699; Orthopedic Surgery (775) 625-3090; Gynecological Surgery (775) 623-5222, ext. 1665; and Podiatric Surgery (775) 621-5729.

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