Kingston Health Sciences Centre to gradually resume scheduled surgeries, procedures

Kingston Health Sciences Centre is beginning to resume scheduled surgeries and procedures amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Kingston Health Sciences Centre is beginning to resume scheduled surgeries and procedures amid the coronavirus pandemic. Global News

Kingston Health Sciences Centre (KHSC) says it will be gradually resuming scheduled surgeries and procedures after most non-urgent medical work was cancelled due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Surgeries and procedures at both Kingston General and Hotel Dieu hospitals have been on pause since March 15, but now that the province is allowing more leeway for medical services, KHSC says they are in a better position to offer more services, since they now have adequate supply of personal protective equipment.

READ MORE: Kingston hospitals introduce new measures aimed at reducing coronavirus spread

KHSC also pointed to increased capacity to handle COVID-19 patients. In line with provincial guidelines, KHSC now has reserved 15 per cent of its intensive care and medicine unit beds available for COVID-19 patients if necessary.

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Currently, there is only one active case of COVID-19 in the Kingston region, with 63 total cases seen in the area since the pandemic began.

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KHSC said it’s awaiting the next set of provincial guidelines before finalizing its plans to increase in-person clinic visits. There is currently no plan to ramp up ambulatory services.

“KHSC will prioritize surgeries and procedures based on various criteria, such as the condition of patients, risks associated with delaying treatment and the availability of needed resources, including PPE, medications and post-operative care needs like primary care and home-and-community care,” the medical organization said.

Because there is still currently a risk of a second wave, KSHC said that part of its opening strategy will allow the hospitals to quickly lock things down if another COVID-19 surge arrives in Kingston.

READ MORE: President of Kingston Health Sciences Centre discusses gradual resumption of elective surgery

The reopening will be revisited on a weekly basis, KHSC said, and therefore surgery and procedure schedules could be subject to change.

Also, the KHSC is asking those admitted to hospital to choose only one family member who will be able to pass the hospital coronavirus screening to be their designated visitor for the duration of their stay.