States halt elective surgeries — except for some professional athletes 

Noah Syndergaard, a pitcher for the New York Mets, is scheduled to undergo surgery for a torn elbow ligament March 26 at Hospital for Special Surgery's Florida location, despite a state ban on elective surgeries, reports The Wall Street Journal.

David Altchek, MD, of HSS Florida in West Palm Beach, is slated to perform the surgery to repair a torn ulnar collateral ligament in Mr. Syndergaard's right elbow.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis issued an executive order March 20, prohibiting medically unnecessary or non-emergency surgeries to conserve personal protective equipment amid the COVID-19 pandemic. WSJ notes the order specifically cites "non-urgent spine and orthopedic procedures" as a type of surgery that should be postponed.

However, the executive order permits healthcare providers to define what is an essential surgery. A Mets official told WSJ that Mr. Syndergaard's injury "fits within the essential surgery guidelines," and a spokesperson for HSS confirmed this statement.

The publication noted Mr. Syndergaard is not the first professional baseball player to undergo elective surgery amid national recommendations to only conduct emergency or medically necessary procedures.

"The perception remains that athletes, celebrities and other famous people are receiving special treatment during a public health crisis, and now it has come to baseball," WSJ wrote. "Syndergaard's planned surgery epitomizes a clash between the measures meant to stop the coronavirus's spread and the powerful economic forces that propel business as usual in the U.S."

To view WSJ's full article, click here.

More articles on patient flow:
Will COVID-19 overwhelm hospitals near you? 16 things to know
Washington healthcare leaders draft statewide plan for care rationing
In line with CMS' urging, more hospitals cancel elective surgeries

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