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Resumption of Elective Orthopaedic Surgery in the US Epicenter of COVID-19

Authors Krauss ES, Segal A, Schulman D, Dengler N, Bily T, Cronin M, Altner K

Received 6 October 2020

Accepted for publication 24 November 2020

Published 29 December 2020 Volume 2020:12 Pages 195—201


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Professor Clark Hung

Eugene S Krauss,1– 4 Ayal Segal,1,4 Debra Schulman,1,4 Nancy Dengler,1 Thomas Bily,1 MaryAnne Cronin,1 Kathleen Altner4

1Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Syosset Hospital, Northwell Health, Syosset, NY, USA; 2Krauss Musculoskeletal Institute, Peconic Bay Medical Center, Affiliate of Northwell Health, Riverhead, NY, USA; 3Zucker School of Medicine, Hofstra/Northwell, Hempstead, NY, USA; 4New York Orthopaedic and Spine Center, Great Neck, NY, USA

Correspondence: MaryAnne Cronin
Syosset Hospital, Northwell Health, 221 Jericho Turnpike, Syosset, NY 11791, USA

Abstract: On March 1, 2020, New York State confirmed its first case of COVID-19. This state has had the largest initial mortality in the United States with more than 479,000 confirmed cases and over 25,000 deaths as of October 10, 2020. All elective surgeries in New York State were suspended on March 23, 2020, due to the national state of emergency. Syosset Hospital is a 75-bed community hospital dedicated primarily to elective surgery. During the COVID-19 surge, the hospital was converted to provide needed beds for the treatment of COVID-19 illness. In anticipation of the resumption of urgent elective procedures, this hospital became one of the two designated sites within the Northwell Health system to be “non-COVID.” Once the hospital was emptied of all inpatients, a complete and thorough cleaning and disinfection was performed on the entire building. All equipment was thoroughly decontaminated following Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines. In anticipation of the resumption of elective surgery, each surgeon evaluated their cancelled case list to determine patient priority, based on a scale of 1 (elective, non-urgent), 2 (semi-urgent), 3 (urgent), to 4 (highly urgent). Site-specific disaster credentialing was expedited so that emergent surgeries could be performed by surgeons located at other Northwell sites. To ensure a structured and informative onboarding process, each visiting surgeon received a “welcome” email which requested pertinent information to facilitate the surgical process. Presurgical, surgical, and postoperative protocols were revised based on federal and local guidance and regulations. Resumption of elective surgery post COVID-19 placed the hospital into uncharted territory.

Keywords: COVID-19, elective surgery, orthopedic surgery, total joint arthroplasty, pandemic

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