Navajo-Hopi Nations,Flagstaff & Winslow News
Sat, July 04

YRMC restricting elective procedures with rise in COVID-19 hospitalizations

A medical care helicopter flies toward the heliport at Yavapai Regional Medical Center’s west campus in Prescott. Communications and Marketing Director Ken Boush said on Wednesday, June 24, the hospital is not planning to accept transfer patients from Phoenix or any other Arizona hospitals, nor does it expect to do so. It is also restricting elective procedures to deal with the rise in COVID-19 hospitalizations. (YRMC/Courtesy)

A medical care helicopter flies toward the heliport at Yavapai Regional Medical Center’s west campus in Prescott. Communications and Marketing Director Ken Boush said on Wednesday, June 24, the hospital is not planning to accept transfer patients from Phoenix or any other Arizona hospitals, nor does it expect to do so. It is also restricting elective procedures to deal with the rise in COVID-19 hospitalizations. (YRMC/Courtesy)

PRESCOTT - The rise in COVID-19 cases across the state is starting to impact Yavapai County hospitals with higher numbers of hospitalizations leading to restrictions and evaluations on any elective procedures.

Yavapai Regional Medical Center Communications and Marketing Director Ken Boush said on Wednesday, June 24, the hospital is not planning to accept transfer patients from Phoenix or any other Arizona hospitals, nor does it expect to do so.

That does not mean the hospital would ever refuse a patient from another community, or state, but is not extending offers to take additional COVID-19 patients from other places, he explained.

Rather the hospital is striving to ensure it has adequate capacity to cope with its own increased COVID-19 patient load.

As of this morning, YRMC has 12 COVID-19 positive inpatients and is awaiting results for three more, Boush said. Yavapai County Community Health Services on Wednesday said another nine people who came to the emergency room tested positive and were sent home to quarantine.

“We also have many patients that have been admitted for other reasons,” Boush said in an email message on Wednesday.

Elective procedures are being restricted and evaluated on a daily basis, Boush affirmed.

“Physicians will work closely with their patients to determine medical necessity. We want to limit procedures that require an in-patient stay after the procedure where possible,” Boush explained. “We are making every effort to continue with procedures already scheduled through this week.

“Interventional procedures will continue based on medical necessity. No changes are planned as of this time for our (gastroenterology) laboratory as these procedures generally don’t require an in-patient stay. Emergent procedures will continue as normal.”

Visitors are also advised to stay home, with hospital officials willing to work with individual patient families on a case-by-case basis, Boush said.

“We are adjusting our staffing and bed utilization and will continue to make necessary adjustments to meet patient demand to remain ready should additional resources be needed,” Boush said.

YCCHS Director Leslie Horton said between YRMC and the Verde Valley there are now 20 inpatient cases. She said the rising case numbers here and across the state are a concern and will likely force all hospitals to evaluate how they deliver care to meet the most dire needs.

“It’s very concerning to me,” Horton said of the impact on area hospitals and their ability to accommodate patients who test positive for the novel coronavirus.

She congratulated the Verde Valley and YRMC for doing their best to “care for those folks who need prompt care” and suggested she hopes they will be able to manage this latest peak in cases.

“We are seeing an increase in the number of COVID-19 positive patients in our community and encourage everyone to make good choices right now,” Boush said. “If social distancing can’t be maintained, people should be wearing a mask to protect others. Regular handwashing should really be a habit at this point for everyone.”

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