CIRCLEVILLE — Following Ohio Governor Mike DeWine’s recommendation, both OhioHealth Berger and Adena Health System have postponed elective surgeries and procedures.

Both health systems will no longer perform elective surgeries effective March 19, this Thursday.

“These are simply unprecedented times for us as a country and especially for us as medical providers,” Bruce Vanderhoff, MD, senior vice president and chief medical officer at OhioHealth, said. “As we brace for a possible surge of COVID-19 patients, we must do everything we can to preserve our resources and prepare our community, our facilities and our staff.”

Adena Chief Clinical Officer Kirk Tucker shared in Vanderhoff’s thoughts.

“Under the Governor’s directive, Adena will postpone all elective surgeries and procedures until further notice,” Tucker stated. “We understand the disruption this places on many of our patients and their families. At this time; however, we agree it is necessary to take these actions to limit further exposure among our patients and medical staff. This decision will also limit the use of supplies that are in critical shortage nationwide. Along with state and federal health officials, we will continue to review the situation to determine when we can safely reverse course and re-schedule procedures.”

An elective procedures is defined as one in which there is no immediate harm in deferring the surgery. Examples are joint replacements, bunions, cataracts, bariatric, asymptomatic hernia.

Surgeries that are considered not elective include ones that there is a threat to the patient if the surgery is not performed, permanent dysfunction of an extremity or organ system, risk of metastasis or progression of staging, and risk of rapidly worsening to severe symptoms.

“We know this will be hard for many of our patients and physicians,” Vanderhoff added. “But we also know it is the right thing to do right now. The more prepared we are to handle any surge that could come along, the better chance we will have of protecting and caring for our entire community.”

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