Banner Health halts elective surgeries


History

Banner Health will pause elective surgeries Jan. 1, the Phoenix-based system announced Dec. 30. 

The health system is suspending nonurgent elective surgeries that can reasonably be postponed for 30 to 60 days without a negative impact on the patient’s health, according to TV station CBS 5

Banner’s hospitals are facing a surge of COVID-19 patients. As of Dec. 29, the system was at 104 percent licensed bed capacity, Banner Chief Clinical Officer Marjorie Bessel, MD, said Dec. 30, according to TV station ABC 15. Some Banner hospitals have exceeded 120 percent licensed bed capacity.

Because of a backlog of patients, some Banner hospitals are diverting incoming ambulance transports. 

“This diversion activity is an early indication that triage may soon be necessary if volumes continue to increase like they did this past week,” Dr. Bessel said, according to CBS 5. “What triage would look like, would be that we might, if we got to that point, be unable to care for everybody.”

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