Monday, March 23, 2020

Adirondack Medical Center pauses elective surgeries

coronavirusSARANAC LAKE – Beginning Monday, March 23, all elective surgeries at Adirondack Medical Center are temporarily suspended, in order to conserve personal protective equipment (PPE) and hospital beds for the expected increase in COVID-19 patients.

In a letter to the health system’s medical staff, chief of surgery Dr. Michael Hill wrote: “All non-urgent, postponable surgeries [will be] cancelled, and rescheduled for future dates to be determined.”


An oversight committee consisting of two surgeons, an anesthesiologist and three registered nurses was formed to review proposed cases where the level of urgency is disputed. They will review cases for three main criteria:

– Do we possess the resources (i.e. space, staffing, PPE) necessary to perform this procedure now, and what would the associated impact be to those resources down the road?

– Has the level of urgency of the case been discussed with the patient, and what are the patient’s feelings about the case?

– What is the clinical argument for performing this case now, rather than later?

To learn more, visit General questions about COVID-19 should be directed to the New York State Department of Health COVID-19 hotline: 888-364-3065. Anyone who suspects they have contracted COVID-19 should contact the health system’s dedicated COVID-19 screening and triage clinic at 518-897-2462. Flu-like symptoms should be managed at home by resting, drinking water and self-isolating.

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Melissa is a journalist with experience as a reporter and editor with the Burlington Free Press, Ithaca Journal and Fairbanks Daily News-Miner. She worked as a communications specialist for the Adirondack North Country Association and is currently digital editor for Adirondack Explorer, overseeing both the Explorer's website and its community forum the Adirondack Almanack. She enjoys hiking, camping and other outdoors activities, and spending time with her husband, their twin daughters, and rescue animals -- two dogs and two cats.

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