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Catholic Health suspends inpatient elective surgeries

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Posted at 1:46 PM, Nov 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-19 13:46:02-05

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Catholic Health is suspending inpatient elective surgeries for at least two weeks due to a dramatic spike in COVID-19 cases in the Western New York region.

The surgeries affected were scheduled to take place this Saturday, November 21 through December 5. Outpatient elective surgeries will continue as planned.

Catholic Health says the temporary suspension of these surgeries, which require at least a one-night stay in the hospital, will free up beds for an influx of COVID-19 patients as the hospital system cares for a COVID patient count "surpassing peak volumes" it experienced in the spring.

"There is a high probability Western New York will be faced with bed shortages in the coming weeks," said Catholic Health President and CEO Mark Sullivan. "After careful consultation with our medical staff and hospital presidents, we determined the best and safest approach to keep pace with the current and anticipated demand for inpatient COVID care at this time, is to reduce impatient elective surgery admissions."

Anyone who had an inpatient surgical procedure scheduled during the affected dates is asked to contact the office of their surgeon.

Catholic Health announced Tuesday the emergency department at Sisters of Charity Hospital, St. Joseph Campus on Harlem Road in Cheektowaga will be closed until further notice to accommodate a rapidly growing number of COVID-19 patients.

Emergency services at Sisters Hospital, Main Street Campus in Buffalo will not be impacted.