American College Of Surgeons - Inspiring Quality: Highest Standards, Better Outcomes

Clinical Updates

Joint Statement Addresses Rescheduling Operations in Areas Experiencing a Resurgence in COVID-19 Cases

The American College of Surgeons, American Society of Anesthesiologists, Association of periOperative Registered Nurses and American Hospital Association issued a joint statement August 10 for maintaining essential surgery during the COVID-19 pandemic. The roadmap responds to the resurgence in COVID-19 cases that is occurring in many parts of the U.S., resulting in hospitals that are near or at bed and intensive care unit capacity. The joint statement notes that health care facilities, physicians and nurses must remain prepared to meet the demands for patients hospitalized with COVID-19 and for patients in need of essential surgery services. It reiterates a list of principles and considerations to guide physicians, nurses and local facilities in their care in ORs and all procedural areas during the ongoing pandemic, including the following:

  • Regional cooperation to ensure access to essential surgical services
  • Collaboration among hospitals, medical professional societies and government to ensure adequate supplies of vital equipment and medications
  • Use of available testing to protect staff and patient safety as well as implementation of policies that address requirements and frequency for patient and staff testing in accordance with current Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines
  • Rescheduling of nonemergent essential operations unless the facility has adequate personal protective equipment and surgical supplies
  • Establishment of a prioritization policy committee consisting of surgeons, anesthesia professionals and nursing leadership
  • Adoption of policies across the five phases of surgical care that address care issues specific to COVID-19 and the postponement of operations
  • Application of procedures to reevaluate and reassess policies and procedures frequently, based on COVID-19-related data, resources, testing and other clinical information

New JACS Study Documents Increasing Frequency, Cost and Severity of Gunshot Wounds that Require Surgical Intervention

The rise in firearm violence has coincided with an increase in the severity of injuries firearms inflict, as well as the cost of operations to treat those injuries. Policymakers must be more aggressive in addressing violence to curb these trends, researchers report in a large national study of gunshot wounds published ahead of print on the Journal of the American College of Surgeons website. The authors found evidence that gun violence has increased in numbers, at least for the sector that meets surgical criteria, and that these injuries result in a substantial financial burden, in addition to the obvious psychosocial burden and other downstream effects.