Indiana Daily Student

IU Health to temporarily cut non-urgent surgeries by half as COVID-19 cases surge

<p>IU Health is located at 601 W. Second St. IU Health and Monroe County COVID-19 vaccine distribution sites are closed Monday due to incoming weather.</p>

IU Health is located at 601 W. Second St. IU Health and Monroe County COVID-19 vaccine distribution sites are closed Monday due to incoming weather.

IU Health will temporarily suspend half of its system’s inpatient non-urgent, or elective, surgeries and procedures beginning Monday amid rising COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations, according to an official statement from the health system.

“The move is needed to alleviate some of the enormous pressure our care teams are under and to reserve inpatient space for those who need it most,” the statement read. “Elective surgery patients (non-emergent, non-urgent) are being notified now and will be rescheduled about three weeks out.”

An elective surgery is a surgery that can be scheduled in advance rather than for an urgent medical condition, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine. Elective surgery may be for a non-life-threatening condition, but it may also be for a serious condition or disease such as cancer.

The Indiana State Department of Health reported over 5,000 new positive COVID-19 cases Wednesday, averaging a 14-day increase of 76%. Hospitalizations of confirmed COVID-19 patients reached 1,817 on the same day, a 68% increase from the hospitalization count 14 days ago.

IU Health is Indiana’s largest network of physicians and serves more than 1 million of the state’s population of 6.7 million, according to its website.

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