American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA)

COVID-19 has changed surgery forever

ASA answers top-six questions patients may have about procedures

Newswise — CHICAGO – The COVID-19 pandemic has transformed health care forever, including surgery, just as 9/11 changed airport security and AIDS/HIV altered blood draws and donation. Although this new reality continues to evolve, many changes are likely to remain – possibly permanently – from requirements for patients and visitors to wear face masks at the hospital or ambulatory (outpatient) surgery center to pre-surgery COVID-19 testing, says the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA).

“It is very safe to have surgery, especially with all of the precautions in place,” said ASA President Beverly K. Philip, M.D., FACA, FASA. “Surgeons, physician anesthesiologists, and other providers caring for patients wear extensive personal protective equipment (PPE) and assess each patient to ensure they receive the safest and most appropriate care. Patients should feel safe and secure that they can have surgery when they need it.”

During Patient Safety Awareness Week, March 14-20, ASA provides answers to six top questions you may be asking ahead of your surgery:

1) Will I need a COVID-19 test before surgery? Although it will depend on the hospital or outpatient surgery center, it is likely you will be required to have a negative COVID-19 test before surgery for the foreseeable future. If you need emergency surgery and you test positive or your results aren’t available quickly, your health care providers will perform the procedure, but will take extra precautions, such as using enhanced PPE and placing you in quarantine for recovery. For non-urgent surgery, ASA recommends patients without symptoms of COVID-19 have a negative polymerase chain reaction (PCR) COVID-19 test prior to moving forward with the procedure.

2) Does COVID-19 or the vaccine interfere with anesthesia? There is no evidence that either COVID-19 or the vaccine interferes with anesthesia. However, because surgery is stressful on the body and temporarily puts extra strain on your immune system, you should wait until you are fully recovered from COVID-19 or you are fully immunized after vaccination before proceeding with surgery, as noted below.

3) Is it safe to have surgery if I recently had COVID-19 or have been vaccinated? Yes, you can have essential or elective surgery once you have fully recovered from COVID-19. The ASA recommends waiting from four weeks (if you had no symptoms or only mild symptoms) to 12 weeks (if you had been admitted to the ICU) to have surgery. If you’ve been vaccinated, your surgery should be scheduled at least two weeks after your final dose so that you are fully protected.

4) Should I wait until I’m vaccinated before having surgery? If you are eligible for vaccination and are having non-emergency surgery such as hip or knee replacement, it may be wise to get vaccinated first. If you are not yet eligible for the vaccine, talk to your surgeon or physician anesthesiologist about the best time to proceed. 

5) Have rules for waiting rooms and mask-wearing changed forever? The days of families gathered in waiting rooms while their loved one has surgery are likely gone. Some hospitals and ambulatory surgery centers don’t allow anyone to wait at the facility, requiring the patient to be dropped off and picked up at a designated entrance. Others allow one person to wait for their loved one in a waiting room with socially distanced rules. And it is likely patients and visitors will be required to wear a mask the entire time they are in the hospital or ambulatory surgery center.

6) Will scheduling or having surgery take longer now? This will depend on the hospital or ambulatory surgery center. Most have added time between surgeries for increased cleaning, so your surgery may occur later in the day than it would have previously, or take longer to schedule. 

Although the pandemic has created the need for more rules and guidelines, it’s important to remember surgery and health care in general are safe. 

The ASA continues to lead the way to ensure patient safety before, during and after surgery, as demonstrated by their upcoming Anesthesia Quality and Patient Safety Meeting on July 17, which will address a variety of topics, such as safety culture, physician burnout, and medication safety.

THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF ANESTHESIOLOGISTS

Founded in 1905, the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) is an educational, research and scientific society with more than 54,000 members organized to raise and maintain the standards of the medical practice of anesthesiology. ASA is committed to ensuring physician anesthesiologists evaluate and supervise the medical care of patients before, during and after surgery to provide the highest quality and safest care every patient deserves. 

For more information on the field of anesthesiology, visit the American Society of Anesthesiologists online at asahq.org. To learn more about the role physician anesthesiologists play in ensuring patient safety, visit asahq.org/MadeforThisMoment. Like ASA on Facebook, follow ASALifeline on Twitter.

# # #

MEDIA CONTACT
Register for reporter access to contact details
CITATIONS

Patient Safety Awareness Week, March 14-20




Filters close

Showing results

110 of 5640
Released: 15-May-2021 8:05 AM EDT
Rutgers Reports First Instance of COVID-19 Triggering Recurrent Blood Clots in Arms
Rutgers University-New Brunswick

Researchers at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School are reporting the first instance of COVID-19 triggering a rare recurrence of potentially serious blood clots in people’s arms.

access_time Embargo lifts in 2 days
Embargo will expire: 20-May-2021 10:00 AM EDT Released to reporters: 14-May-2021 2:40 PM EDT

A reporter's PressPass is required to access this story until the embargo expires on 20-May-2021 10:00 AM EDT The Newswise PressPass gives verified journalists access to embargoed stories. Please log in to complete a presspass application. If you have not yet registered, please Register. When you fill out the registration form, please identify yourself as a reporter in order to advance to the presspass application form.

Released: 14-May-2021 11:25 AM EDT
Access to overdose-reversing drugs declined during pandemic, researchers find
Beth Israel Lahey Health

In a new study, clinician-researchers at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) analyzed naloxone prescription trends during the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States and compared them to trends in opioid prescriptions and to overall prescriptions.

Released: 14-May-2021 11:00 AM EDT
No Excuses: Stop Procrastinating on These Key Health Checks
Michigan Medicine - University of Michigan

A quick guide to the most-valuable preventive care that adults need to get scheduled, to catch up on what they may have missed during the height of the pandemic, and to address issues that the pandemic might have worsened.

Released: 13-May-2021 7:05 PM EDT
FLCCC Statement on the Irregular Actions of Public Health Agencies & the Disinformation Campaign Against Ivermectin
Front Line COVID-19 Critical Care Alliance (FLCCC Alliance)

FLCCC Alliance calls for whistleblower to step forward from within WHO, the FDA, the NIH, Merck, or Unitaid to counter this misrepresentation

Newswise: shutterstock_1724336896.jpg
Released: 13-May-2021 12:55 PM EDT
Kreuter receives $1.9 million in grants to increase vaccinations in St. Louis
Washington University in St. Louis

Matthew Kreuter, the Kahn Family Professor of Public Health at the Brown School, has received $1.9 million in grants to help increase COVID-19 vaccinations among Blacks in St. Louis City and County.

Released: 13-May-2021 11:35 AM EDT
COVID-19 mRNA Vaccines are Immunogenic in Pregnant and Lactating Women, Including Against Viral Variants
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

In a new study from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center researchers evaluated the immunogenicity of COVID-19 mRNA vaccines in pregnant and lactating women who received either the Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccines. They found that both vaccines triggered immune responses in pregnant and lactating women.

Released: 13-May-2021 10:30 AM EDT
Pandemic stigma: Foreigners, doctors wrongly targeted for COVID-19 spread in India
Monash University

The Indian public blamed foreigners, minority groups and doctors for the rapid spread of COVID-19 across the country during the first wave, due to misinformation, rumour and long-held discriminatory beliefs, according to an international study led by Monash University.


Showing results

110 of 5640

close
1.63036