In preparation for the coming flood of COVID-19 patients, the state of Massachusetts has moved to turn away patients seeking “non-essential” medical procedures, the Daily Caller reported Thursday.
Massachusetts will no longer offer services like colonoscopies, knee replacements, and tooth extractions under the orders of the public health commissioner.
Preparing for the onslaught
Hospitals around the nation are gearing up to deal with potentially thousands of coronavirus cases. Ending elective nonessential procedures is an important move to free up staff and space in the hospitals.
Indeed, the U.K.’s National Health Service is so overwhelmed that hospitals are beginning to turn away coronavirus patients and send them elsewhere due to a lack of space, equipment, and staff, according to Breitbart. The U.S. is working hard to head off such a devastating scenario.
“We’re all adjusting to these circumstances, but I think it’s important to remember why,” Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker (R) said.
The Daily Caller reported that “non-essential” procedures include “any procedures involving skin incisions, injections into a ‘joint body space or body cavity,’ hip replacement or knee replacement, colonoscopies, bronchoscopies, kidney tube placements, invasive radiology procedures, most dermatology procedures, eye implants, tooth extractions, sound wave treatment to break down kidney stones, and endometrial biopsies.”
Massachusetts will be joining Ohio in canceling non-essential procedures for the time being, as WTVG in Toledo reports. And in the coming days, it will likely become standard nationwide to ensure hospitals are able to treat high volumes of coronavirus patients.
Coronavirus will hit hard
Europe, for its part, has shown the world how not to respond to the threat of COVID-19. The health care system in Italy is buckling from the staggering burden of serious coronavirus cases, according to TIME magazine.
Letting coronavirus spread without taking decisive action was a devastating mistake on the part of Italy. The U.S. is trying to avoid repeating those mistakes.
Indeed, coronavirus will hit us hard. California specifically is facing one of the more extreme threats, leading Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) to request a hospital ship from the Navy to battle hospital shortages, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Additionally, according to a March 16 report from the U.K.’s Imperial College, the outbreak could last 12–18 months and cause “1.1–1.2 million” deaths in the U.S., Breitbart noted.
Americans need to prepare for the long haul. In the next few months, our lives will be disrupted on every level. Our actions during the next month will be critical in our efforts to fight the disease.