COLUMBUS — Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced today the the Ohio Department of Health has issued an order declaring that elective surgeries and procedures in Ohio’s hospitals be postponed in an effort to conserve personal protective equipment (PPE) for healthcare workers and first responders.
The order will go into effect at the end of business on Wednesday, March 18, 2020.
The Ohio Hospital Association (OHA) has estimated that the amount of PPE that Ohio will need during the COVID-19 pandemic is equal to the amount of PPE available nationally.
“By postponing elective hospital procedures that are safe to delay, we can protect patients and providers,” said Governor DeWine. “This will also help us preserve critically short supplies of PPE and preserve inpatient beds and other equipment for critically ill patients.”
OHA developed guidelines for healthcare providers for the management of non-essential surgeries and procedures in Ohio. Surgeries or procedures will be delayed unless there is a:
Threat to the patient’s life if surgery or procedure is not performed;
Threat of permanent dysfunction of an extremity or organ system;
Risk of metastasis or progression of staging;
Risk of rapidly worsening to severe symptoms.
In order to preserve PPE, only individuals who are essential to conducting the surgery or procedure shall be in the surgery or procedure suite or other patient care areas where PPE is required. Each hospital and outpatient surgery or procedure provider shall establish an internal governance structure to ensure the principles outlined above are followed.