Some Valley hospitals postpone 'elective' surgeries due to COVID surge

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- As COVID hospitalizations skyrocket, hospitals are being forced to make tough decisions.

That, coupled with a high number of hospital staff members being out sick with COVID, is prompting some to temporarily stop doing surgeries deemed "elective."

This can include rather serious and necessary procedures for things like kidney stones, gallstones and joint replacements.

"None of it feels elective to the patient, generally speaking. However, from the impact of future and life of health is what we need to look at," said Deanette Sisson, Chief Nursing Officer at Saint Agnes Hospital.

Saint Agnes will pause elective surgeries starting Monday.

Valley Children's has already stopped some non-urgent surgeries for two weeks, then will reassess the situation.

Other healthcare providers, like the Nephrology Group, are stepping up to help.

From providing vaccinations and doing COVID tests -- to treating COVID patients with monoclonal antibody infusions.

"We are doing all the infusions, sometimes eight to 10 a day. Imagine, those could be admissions to the hospital," said Dr. Hemant Dhinga, director and CEO of The Nephrology Group.

The Nephrology Group has devoted resources to being safe through the pandemic. Regular screening and testing of staff has helped them stay healthy.

"On average, our workload has gone almost 150 percent more," said Dr. Dhinga.

He says they are doing anything they can to help relieve the caseload at area hospitals.

Kaweah Health will continue with outpatient elective surgeries, but will hit the pause button on all elective cosmetic operations.
Copyright © 2022 KFSN-TV. All Rights Reserved.