University Hospital postpones elective surgeries to accommodate growing number of COVID-19 patients

SAN ANTONIO (KTSA News) – If you have an elective surgical procedure scheduled soon, it might be a good idea to check with your doctor to make sure it’s still on.

University Hospital is the latest to postpone elective surgeries to make room for the growing number of COVID-19 patients.   Dr. Bryan Alsip, Chief Medical Officer at University Health, says they’ll continue conducting essential surgeries, “the most severe life-threatening, severe cardiac trauma,  cancer.”  Alsip says they’ll also perform outpatient surgical procedures, which don’t require overnight stays.

“We anticipate that will help us maintain the capacity that we currently have a little bit longer,” said Alsip.

San Antonio Military Health System made a similar announcement last week and Alsip predicts other major hospitals in our area will follow suit.

As of Tuesday evening, the number of COVID-19 patients in local hospitals had risen to 1,318, which is higher than the summer peak in July when the number reached 1,267.  The number of hospital patients in ICU rose to 369 and  and 185 are on ventilators.

A field hospital was set up months ago behind Freeman Coliseum, but Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff says that’s not an ideal situation.

“We do have a field hospital, but it’s there by itself and you don’t have all the other services that you need,” said Wolff.

The number of new COVID-19 cases reported Tuesday was a record 2,152,  bringing the total since the pandemic began to 124,800.  Health officials reported 5 more deaths–including a woman in her 20s.





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