UAB Hospital delaying surgeries due to rising COVID hospitalizations


BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT)-UAB announced today that they will begin reducing essential inpatient surgical cases due to the rising number of COVID cases.

The hospital will allow only 20 procedures per day in an effort to keep up with the COVID demand.

UAB says at this time they have not delayed any cancer surgeries up to this point but surgeries that are not an emergency will be postponed.

“Starting next week, we’re only going to be able to do a little over half of the normal surgical cases that we normally do because we don’t have enough health care resources available,” said Dr. Sarah Nafziger, Vice President of UAB Hospital Clinical Services.

“Surgeries for heart disease, surgeries for cancer, transplants a lot of those are the type of things we are delaying. I hope that we never get to the point where we don’t have emergency services available, but we’re tip-toeing closer and closer to that line,” said Dr. Nafziger.

“For me hearing that it is certainly alarming and I’m sure for someone who is receiving that diagnosis or hearing that news that their surgery is being postponed that’s really stressful,” said Claire Gray, with the Forge Breast Cancer Survivor Center.

Gray and her team work directly with cancer patients at UAB, Grandview Health, St. Vincents and Brookwood Baptist Health hospitals, providing community and resources to people diagnosed or close to someone diagnosed with breast cancer.

Beginning Monday, visitation hours at the hospital will be limited. The hospital will only allow 1 visitor per patient every 12 hours in an effort to prevent the spread of COVID.

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