Hospitals in Florida, Louisiana postpone elective surgeries

Several hospitals and health systems in Florida and Louisiana are postponing elective surgeries amid an uptick in COVID-19 patient hospitalizations. 

In Florida, Health First in Rockledge is limiting elective procedures at its four hospitals, according to Florida Today. The pause will take effect July 29 and continue through Aug. 15.

Health First said about 25 percent of its surgeries are affected and that patients will be directly contacted with instructions about rescheduling. 

Additionally, Jacksonville, Fla.-based Baptist Health asked its surgeons to delay some elective surgeries that require an overnight stay because of an uptick in COVID-19 hospitalizations.

Louisiana hospitals are also canceling electives as they grapple with rising COVID-19 cases. 

Our Lady of the Lake, an 800-bed hospital in Baton Rouge, La., will temporarily halt scheduling any new elective inpatient surgeries. The change is effective July 26 and will last for three weeks. The hospital is still providing outpatient procedures that do not require overnight hospitalization.

"Like many hospitals across the state, Our Lady of the Lake continues to experience high volumes of COVID and non-COVID patients. Our inpatient facilities remain at capacity," Stephanie Manson, COO of Our Lady of the Lake, said in a news release. "We made this decision to make additional beds and staff available. Previously scheduled procedures are proceeding as scheduled. We continue to schedule outpatient and new urgent surgical procedures."

Our Lady of the Lake said July 26 that the hospital admitted 25 new COVID-19 patients in the last 24 hours, and there were 112 COVID-19 patients admitted, with 40 percent of those in the intensive care unit. This compares to June 14, when there were 35 COVID-19 patients at Our Lady of the Lake.

New Orleans-based LCMC Health also paused elective surgeries indefinitely beginning July 26 to shift workers to critical care units, a representative told This affects University Medical Center, Touro Infirmary, New Orleans East Hospital, Children's Hospital New Orleans, East Jefferson General Hospital and West Jefferson Medical Center. 

A representative from Ochsner Health told some of the New Orleans-based health system's individual facilities may reduce or postpone nonemergency surgeries requiring overnight hospitalization based on resources and staffing. And St. Tammany Health System in Covington, La., said it would reschedule elective surgeries requiring hospitalization during the next week, according to


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