Beaufort Memorial will resume some elective surgeries

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Beaufort Memorial is preparing to resume some elective outpatient surgeries in its Surgery Center while deploying strict environmental, screening and testing protocols to protect patients and staff. The Beaufort Memorial Surgery Center is located on the hospital campus in a stand-alone facility.

The move comes weeks after the hospital discontinued elective procedures following Governor McMaster’s request that hospitals cancel cases to preserve personal protective equipment (PPE) for an anticipated surge in COVID-19 cases. Earlier this week state officials announced that the “peak” had passed as the numbers of cases began to level out in mid-April and hospitals’ capacities statewide began to increase.

“We’re going to move slowly and judiciously to schedule cases in our outpatient surgery center,” said BMH President and CEO Russell Baxley. “We have put into place several processes to ensure staff and patient safety and, while the measures may seem overly conservative, we believe they are in the best interests of everyone involved.”

Those measures include temperature pre-screening for every staff member before entering the building; COVID-19 testing of every patient three days prior to surgery; self-isolation for three days before surgery; completed patient temperature logs due on the day of surgery; and prohibiting visitors from entering the building.

Patients will receive detailed instructions for self-isolating and completing the temperature log. They also will be given an appointment for their COVID-19 test.

Anyone who experiences a temperature greater than 99.5 degrees or symptoms of respiratory illness during self-isolation will be instructed to call their provider and visit one of two Express Care clinics for evaluation to determine if their surgery will proceed or be rescheduled for a later date.

Any patient who tests positive for COVID-19 will be treated and provided instructions for self-isolation for 14 days.

“Our number one priority is the safety of our patients and staff,” Baxley said. “We believe that a slow and steady approach to this process is the best course, and it is one we will continue as we evaluate resuming services and surgeries in the hospital on a go forward basis.”

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