Halifax, Dartmouth hospitals reduce elective surgeries amid COVID spike

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Elective surgeries at the Dartmouth General Hospital and QEII are being cut by up to 25 per cent for the next couple of weeks. (Robert Short/CBC - image credit)
Elective surgeries at the Dartmouth General Hospital and QEII are being cut by up to 25 per cent for the next couple of weeks. (Robert Short/CBC - image credit)

Two hospitals in the Halifax area are temporarily reducing surgeries as COVID-19 cases rise in the province.

According to a release from the health authority, teams at Dartmouth General Hospital and the QEII Health Sciences Centre are adjusting schedules to reduce elective surgery volumes by up to 25 per cent over the next couple of weeks.

The move is necessary to build capacity in anticipation of increased COVID-19 admissions, the potential for staffing to be impacted by community exposures, and to allow staff to be redeployed on COVID units and testing centres, the release said.

Nova Scotia reported 44 new COVID-19 cases on Friday, bringing the province's total known active caseload to 150.

Surgeons' offices will notify patients whose surgeries must be postponed. They will aim to provide as much advance notice as possible, but some cases could be impacted with little notice as the situation evolves.

Pre-admission appointments and other surgery-related clinics, like surgical consults, are continuing.

Patients who had their surgery postponed will be rebooked as quickly as possible.

No other surgical service reductions are planned right now.

On a typical day, about 100 patients have surgery at these facilities.

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