June 2, 2020

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Following Gov. Mike DeWine’s guidance announced today, The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center will resume performing surgeries and procedures requiring an overnight stay beginning Wednesday as part of its phased approach to returning to normal operations. The medical center has already resumed outpatient surgeries such as cataract surgery and tonsillectomies.
Now the medical center will once again perform surgeries requiring an overnight stay such as bariatric, cardiac and joint replacement procedures, among others, said Dr. Timothy Pawlik, surgeon in chief of The Ohio State Wexner Medical Center and chair of the Department of Surgery in The Ohio State University College of Medicine.
“In addition to our ongoing comprehensive focus on patient safety, we’ve enacted additional safety precautions during the COVID-19 outbreak to protect our patients and staff. We want patients to know that it’s safe to come to Ohio State Wexner Medical Center to seek medical care, including inpatient procedures or surgeries requiring an overnight stay that may have previously been postponed,” Pawlik said. “We’re conducting COVID-19 testing for all admitted patients and have taken many other steps to ensure patient and provider safety.”
Safety precautions at Ohio State include requiring patients and staff to wear a mask and to be screened at building entrances for fever and other symptoms. Patients who’ve been diagnosed with COVID-19 are isolated away from the rest of the patient population, and all hospital areas receive more frequent deep disinfecting and cleaning.
“Our infectious disease specialists regularly review our operational and clinical processes, and we’re reducing person-to-person contact wherever possible,” Pawlik said. “Our health care providers use personal protective equipment such as masks and goggles and practice good hand hygiene. We also require daily health screenings, including temperature monitoring of doctors, nurses and staff.”
This phased approach comes as states continue to lift certain restrictions, including the state-issued order that postponed nonessential surgeries in Ohio’s hospitals on March 19. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Ohio State continued to perform surgeries and procedures to avoid risk of life, permanent dysfunction, progression of disease or risk of rapidly worsening symptoms. Elective cases that didn’t meet these general criteria were postponed, which followed recommendations provided by the Ohio Hospital Association.
Medical center staff will check in with patients to reassess their individual needs. If a surgery was postponed, the patient will receive a recorded telephone message and a follow-up call from a scheduler to set up a telehealth appointment within the next few weeks.
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Media Contact: Eileen Scahill, Wexner Medical Center Media Relations, 614-293-3737, Eileen.Scahill@osumc.edu

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