HEALTH

High patient volumes at children’s hospital result in procedure and surgery delays

Nov 4, 2021, 1:42 PM
Child in a hospital room. Photo: Canva...
Child in a hospital room. Photo: Canva

SALT LAKE CITY — On Wednesday, the number of patients cared for at Intermountain Primary Children’s Hospital was 39% higher than in past years at this time. The hospital decided that delay of non-urgent surgery and procedures is the best way to optimize staff and resources. 

Intermountain Primary Children’s Hospital has experienced high numbers of patients for months. Wednesday’s number of 249 patients demonstrated the pattern of an increasing need for care. 

Patient numbers are unprecedented

“Our patient volumes now exceed typical winter surge levels, which is unprecedented,” said Dustin Lipson, Intermountain Primary Children’s Hospital Administrator. 

Lipson said that their current patient numbers exceed even their highest intake numbers during the peak of the typical respiratory illness season.  

The numbers are putting a strain on the hospital, and they needed to make a decision for how to best proceed. 

Urgent surgeries and procedures will still take place

In a press release, Intermountain Children’s Hospital said patient safety is the main concern and focus.

The best way their staff and resources can accommodate and care for patients, the hospital said, is by delaying all non-emergency inpatient and outpatient surgeries and procedures through Nov. 28. Until that point, non-urgent surgeries and procedures will be rescheduled. 

Lipson clarified, “patients who urgently need surgeries and procedures will receive them. We are deploying caregivers in surgical and procedural areas to care for patients in other areas of the hospital.”

Patients include children with COVID-19

The influx of children requiring care over the last few months includes COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 patients, and patients with respiratory illnesses such as RSV, and trauma-related injuries.

Masks, social distancing, and vaccines encouraged

The press release concludes by urging the public to practice certain COVID-19 protocols. The hospital says the community can increase public safety by wearing masks, social distancing while indoors, observing good hand hygiene, and getting vaccines for flu and COVID-19.

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High patient volumes at children’s hospital result in procedure and surgery delays