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Hospitals in Las Vegas pausing elective surgery as COVID-19 cases surge

Posted at 8:02 PM, Aug 11, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-12 11:04:14-04

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — The resurgence of COVID-19 has taken a toll on much more than just patients, hospitals have taken a hit once again and have changed their operating procedures to accommodate more patients.

Since the beginning of this year hospitals in Las Vegas have been playing a game of catch-up because of the pandemic. Medical professionals say they are doing everything they can to make sure they avoid delaying their patients’ medical procedures.

RELATED: Las Vegas doctors place hope in Monoclonal Antibody Treatment to help fight COVID-19

Front-line workers have prepared for what they call the next big wave of coronavirus.

Dr. Steven Merta, chief medical officer at Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center, said they are noticing a rapid growth in COVID-19 cases across the valley, resulting in a larger number of patients and hospitalizations.

RELATED: Las Vegas valley hospitals see influx in COVID-19 cases

Dr. Merta said they have had to put a pause on adult inpatient elective surgeries at their location.

“It has allowed us to cut down a few of our surgeries to allow us to continue to take care of all those emergent cases, all those important cases that come thru the er, so that we are still here for the community and provide the care that they need,” said Dr. Merta.

He said halting or postponing elective procedures is all about priorities. Merta said they have made it a priority to make sure there’s still room for cancer surgeries and other critical procedures.

“I hope that every hospital looks at each case individually and any of those cancer cases that by delaying will allow the disease to progress should move forward,” explained Dr. Merta.

He said around March they struggled to keep up with testing and getting PPE. Currently, they have faced another obstacle because of this health crisis.

“Our biggest constraint is staffing, finding those nurses who have decided to continue to care for our patients, not decided to retire, not decided to change their careers,” said Dr. Merta.

Merta said it was not necessary for our hospitals to get to this point.

“We could have prevented this surge had we been more astute in getting our information and education and dispel all the myths and information that is not correct,” Merta stated.

He said the most effective way to prevent hospitalizations is by getting vaccinated. Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center are also providing Monoclonal Antibody Treatment to COVID-19 patients to help them fight the virus and prevent them from coming inside their hospital.