Fourth COVID-19 surge forces Michigan Medicine to cancel dozens of surgeries

Posted at 7:49 PM, Dec 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-09 05:57:48-05

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (WXYZ) — The state’s fourth surge of COVID-19 has caused the cancellation of at least 40 surgeries this week alone.

At Michigan Medicine in Ann Arbor, the rising number of infected patients has forced them to stop taking transfers cases that are more complicated.

“Like other hospitals and health care systems across the state, Michigan Medicine is now experiencing one of its highest numbers of COVID-19 patients,” University of Michigan Health System President Dr. David Miller said.

“The COVID-19 surge that is going on now has forced us, for example, to reduce surgical volume across the state, across the nation,” Michigan Medicine CEO Dr. Marschall Runge said.

The stress and exhaustion is being heaped on nurses and other front-line workers.

“Nurses and other care team feel frustrated when we know that vaccines are available, yet many have selected not to get vaccinated,” Nancy May, chief nurse at University of Michigan Health System, said. “Then we later see these patients coming into our doors that end up in our ICU’s and on ventilators. And this is all preventable."

Hospital administrators are urging people to get at least one shot of the vaccine before gathering with family and friends for the holidays, saying COVID-19 cases are over-running hospitals and forcing them to cancel surgeries.

“These are heartbreaking decisions that have significant health impacts for the patients and significant consequences for the families who are also affected by these cancellations,” Miller said.

Hospital leaders are hoping sounding the alarm isn't too late for our communities and our families.

“We've had to close several much-needed beds in some of our critical care units,” Miller said. ”And fewer appointments are now available for patients eligible to receive monoclonal antibody treatments that can reduce hospitalizations and death for some patients with COVID-19."

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