Readiness to resume elective surgery cases will vary by geographic location, according to the American Society of Anesthesiologists.
With this in mind, ASA shared several principles to abide by when resuming elective cases.
1. Before reopening for elective surgery, facilities should observe a sustained reduction in the rate of new COVID-19 cases in their area; ensure adequate ICU and non-ICU bed capacity; and have sufficient personal protective equipment, ventilators and trained staff on hand.
2. Facilities should use available testing whenever possible and implement policies addressing testing requirements and frequency.
3. Facilities should form committees to develop prioritization strategies based on immediate patient needs.
4. Facilities should implement policies addressing COVID-19-specific care issues and postponed surgical scheduling.
5. Facilities should frequently reevaluate and reassess policies and procedures based on COVID-19 numbers, resource availability and care metrics.
6. Facilities should implement a social distancing policy for staff, patients and visitors in non-restricted areas in accordance with local and national recommendations.