GLENDALE — At least one Valley hospital is asking staff to halt non-urgent surgeries and procedures that require a hospital stay of any kind.
The Chief Medical Officer at Banner Thunderbird Medical Center in Glendale sent a memo, obtained by ABC15, to staff that states that "non-urgent" surgeries should be delayed next week if a hospital stay is required.
The memo states that patients who can be discharged directly from recovery within four hours can proceed, but any procedures or surgeries that require any kind of stay in observation, medical, surgical, or in the Intensive Care Unit should be postponed.
NEW: Inside memo shared with @abc15 shows the Chief Medical Officer for Banner Health Thunderbird telling staff that any non-urgent procedures/surgeries that require 'any kind of hospital stay' be postponed, if at all possible.— Nicole Grigg (@NicoleSGrigg) December 17, 2021
This as hospital bed capacity remains low in AZ. pic.twitter.com/lg7tR3PBoW
This decision will be made in collaboration with a surgeon, according to a spokesperson from Banner Health.
The delay is intended to "preserve bed capacity and staff resources," the memo states. The delay could extend into the following week as well.
It is unclear when the delay will begin next week.
A spokesperson for the hospital said in an email that Banner hospitals continues to perform medically necessary surgeries and procedures, but said, “Individual hospitals, on a case-by-case basis and in collaboration with the surgeon, may limit some non-urgent surgeries, such as those that require an in-patient hospitalization, in order to preserve capacity and resources.”
Certain elective surgeries that cannot be delayed for up to 30 days will be reviewed by their board for possible exemption from this delay.
The news comes as state health officials earlier this month requested additional staff to rural hospitals to help with the latest influx in patients.
On Friday, across Arizona, ICU bed usage has climbed above 95%, leaving 85 available ICU beds.