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News from the American College of Surgeons

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American College of Surgeons releases new clinical guidance document for elective surgical case triage during COVID-19

Surgical decision-making document contains recommendations for cancer operations and various other surgical specialty procedures

CHICAGO (March 25, 2020): The American College of Surgeons continues to provide guidance for surgeons to curtail recommendations for elective surgical procedures to preserve the necessary resources for care of critically ill patients during the COVID-19 pandemic.

To assist in surgical decision-making in curtailing cases, ACS has released “COVID-19: Elective Case Triage Guidelines for Surgical Care,” a new surgical triage document that was developed following expert review in several specialties and provides trusted information from the most current best evidence available in the following areas:

These triage recommendations should be used in conjunction with a joint statement ACS has developed with the American Society of Anesthesiologists and the Association of periOperative Registered Nurses recommending medical centers develop a Surgical Review Committee to act as an administrative body to provide defined, transparent, and responsive oversight for triaging surgical cases during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The ACS, ASA, and AORN recommend decisions of the Surgical Review Committee regarding surgical cases be made on a daily basis, no later than the day before an operation, and should include a multidisciplinary leadership team representing surgery, anesthesiology, and nursing.

“These triage guidelines and joint recommendations are being issued as we appear to be entering a new phase of the COVID-19 pandemic with more hospitals facing a potential push beyond their resources to care for critically ill patients. ACS will continue to monitor the landscape for surgical care but we feel this guidance document provides a sound foundation for surgeons to begin enacting these triage recommendations today to help them make the best decisions possible for their patients during COVID-19,” said ACS Executive Director David B. Hoyt, MD, FACS.

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About the American College of Surgeons

The American College of Surgeons is a scientific and educational organization of surgeons that was founded in 1913 to raise the standards of surgical practice and improve the quality of care for surgical patients. The College is dedicated to the ethical and competent practice of surgery. Its achievements have significantly influenced the course of scientific surgery in America and have established it as an important advocate for all surgical patients. The College has more than 82,000 members and is the largest organization of surgeons in the world. For more information, visit www.facs.org.