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Catholic Health canceling or postponing elective surgeries that require an inpatient stay

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Posted at 2:45 PM, Dec 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-03 18:41:30-05

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — A spokesperson for Catholic Health tells 7 Eyewitness News it is postponing elective surgeries that require an inpatient stay.

A new executive order was announced by New York Governor Kathy Hochul on November 26. The executive order allows the state to limit non-essential, non-urgent procedures for hospitals or systems with limited capacity to "protect access to critical health care services." Limited capacity is defined by the state as 10% staffed bed capacity.

Catholic Health says this is not directly related to the executive order. It says the hospital system has been doing this for a while to help deal with staffing issues. Elective outpatient surgeries are still being done.

ECMC says it is still performing elective outpatient surgeries.

According to a spokesperson from the New York State Department of Health, no hospitals have currently limited procedures under the executive order. The executive order went into place Friday and will be re-assessed on January 15.

"No hospitals have currently limited procedures under the Governor’s executive order. While this order is effective today, determinations will be issued to facilities by December 6 to apply to procedures scheduled to occur on or after December 9," the spokesperson said.

Catholic Health released the following statement Friday:

Catholic Health will be officially notified on Monday, December 6, which of its hospitals fall under Governor Hochul’s November 26 Executive Order regarding hospital capacity and the postponement of non-essential elective procedures.

The Executive Order does NOT impact any surgical procedures considered urgent or emergent.

Catholic Health began postponing inpatient elective procedures only at all of its hospitals in early November in response to the sharp rise in COVID-19 patients and corresponding surge in hospital capacity across the region.

According to the NYSDOH, the following procedures are considered essential and will NOT be canceled or postponed by the executive order:

  • Cancer, including diagnostic procedure of suspected cancer
  • Neurosurgery
  • Intractable Pain
  • Highly symptomatic patients
  • Transplants
  • Trauma
  • Cardiac with symptoms
  • Limb threatening vascular procedures
  • Dialysis Vascular Access
  • Patients that are at a clinically high risk of harm if their procedures are not completed

As of Friday, December 3, the NYSDOH said 31 impacted hospitals in at-risk regions had 10% capacity or less. That includes 12 hospitals in the Western New York and Finger Lakes regions:

  • F.F. Thompson Hospital- Finger Lakes
  • Geneva General Hospital - Finger Lakes
  • Highland Hospital - Finger Lakes
  • Strong Memorial Hospital - Finger Lakes
  • The Unity Hospital of Rochester - Finger Lakes
  • Wyoming County Community Hospital - Finger Lakes
  • Brooks-TLC Hospital System, Inc. - Western New York
  • Erie County Medical Center - Western New York
  • Mercy Hospital of Buffalo - Western New York
  • Mount St Marys Hospital and Health Center - Western New York
  • Sisters of Charity Hospital - Western New York
  • UPMC Chautauqua at WCA - Western New York

Kaleida Health released the following statement:

Throughout the past 90 days or so, where and when possible, we have cancelled or postponed non-essential surgeries. And as we have done since March of 2020, we continue to work very closely with our physician leaders across the health system to ensure that we are managing patient care and community need. The New York State Department of Health today issued guidelines related to limiting ‘non-essential elective procedures’, which they will review and according to their guidance, ‘Determinations will be issued to facilities by [Monday] December 6th, to apply to procedures scheduled to occur on or after [Thursday] December 9th. That said, we will continue to monitor the capacity situation on an hour by hour, day by day basis.

According to data acquired by 7 Eyewitness News from the New York State Department of Health from December 1, the following percentages of beds are occupied in the major Erie and Niagara County hospitals:

  • 93% of acute care beds
  • 87% of ICU beds
  • 92% of total beds

Below you can find the percentages for the individual facilities as of December 1:

Erie County:

  • Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital: 87% of acute care beds full, 86% of ICU beds full, 87% total beds full
  • Buffalo General Medical Center: 86% of acute care beds full, 87% of ICU beds full, 87% total beds full
  • Oishei Children's Hospital: No new data reported
  • ECMC: 100% of acute care beds full, 83% of ICU beds full, 98% total beds full
  • Mercy Hospital of Buffalo: 100% of acute care beds full, 100% of ICU beds full, 100% total beds full
  • Kenmore Mercy Hospital: 94% of acute care beds full, 75% of ICU beds full, 92% total beds full
  • Sisters of Charity Hospital: 100% of acute care beds full, 100% of ICU beds full, 100% total beds full

Niagara County:

  • Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center: 82% of acute care beds full, 75% of ICU beds full, 81% total beds full
  • Mount St. Mary's Hospital: 100% of acute care beds full, 100% of ICU beds full, 100% total beds full