Baylor Scott & White facilities postpone elective procedures

Several Baylor Scott & White Health facilities are postponing elective procedures amid the latest COVID-19 wave, with the specific facilities affected varying daily.

The 51-hospital, Dallas-based system confirmed the decision Aug. 19, citing the pressure coronavirus is putting on its hospitals, emergency departments and workforce. 

"The overwhelming majority of the patients we are treating for COVID-19 are unvaccinated, and the rising number of cases is discouraging," the system said in a statement shared with Becker's.

"To continue ensuring that our hospitals are ready for those who need care most during this time, several Baylor Scott & White Medical Centers are postponing elective procedures. Patients are being contacted directly. This is a change that may vary day-to-day to preserve hospital capacity and to protect the health and well-being of our patients and colleagues," the system said. 

Baylor Scott & White said it will continue urgent and emergent procedures. The system said each case will be closely reviewed, and the patient's physician will determine the acuity of the procedure. Most cases involving cancer patients or those needing heart procedures will continue. 

"While we will always make emergency care available, if the current surge continues, and our intensive care unit occupancy rate continues to increase, our hospitals may not be able to meet the critical healthcare needs of our community," said Baylor Scott & White.

Amid the surge, the system is encouraging vaccination in the community and requiring its workforce to be vaccinated, unless granted an exemption. The deadline for the workforce requirement is Oct. 1. 

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