Roper St. Francis to halt some elective surgeries following large increase in COVID-19 patients

Local News

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Roper St. Francis Healthcare will halt elective surgeries that require overnight stays after reporting a 65% increase in COVID-19 inpatients in one day.

The number of COVID-19 patients treated across Roper St. Francis Healthcare hospitals spiked 65 percent in one day, signaling the largest increase in patients since the beginning of the pandemic.

The four hospitals within RSFH had 46 COVID-19 inpatients on Monday. That number jumped to 76 today.

To improve the availability of beds, RSFH beginning Monday will stop performing elective surgeries that require overnight stays and only allow emergent and urgent overnight stay surgical cases. Outpatient and ambulatory surgeries that do not require overnight stays will be allowed as scheduled.

“The rate of increase in our COVID-19 inpatients demands this immediate and impactful response,” said Dr. Chris McLain, chief physician officer with Roper St. Francis Healthcare. “We are also evaluating beds across the system that could be used to care for COVID-19 patients and offering extended home health options to assist with patients after they are discharged from our hospitals.”

RSFH has an adequate number of ventilators and leaders are also monitoring staffing levels and use of personal protective equipment.

The virus is spreading rapidly and McLain urged Lowcountry residents to take the appropriate precautions to protect themselves.

“Wear a mask,” Dr. McLain said. “Wash your hands often, socially distance from others outside of your home, clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces, and monitor your health. Roper St. Francis Healthcare is here to serve the community. We are asking that you do your part to prevent infection.”

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