St. Mary’s to continue seeking elective surgery go-ahead


Update: According to a statement on St. Mary’s website dated May 7, the hospital is now allowed to resume elective surgeries.

A single case on a single day in the intensive care unit (ICU) at St. Mary’s hospital may have put the facility over the limit specified by Governor Andrew Cuomo as a condition to allow elective surgeries to resume in New York hospitals. 35 counties were deemed eligible earlier this week, however Montgomery County was not one of them.

Rick Hyde, director of marketing and communications for St. Mary’s Hospital wrote in a statement released today, “The methodology to exclude Montgomery county was based off of April 27 hospital data, where we appeared to be over the recommended ICU capacity by one patient.”

“Looking at our average for this metric clearly shows that we have at least 30% bed capacity in our ICU. The other two metrics to meet before resuming elective surgeries are at least 30% of inpatient beds available and less than 10 new COVID-19 positive hospitalizations in the last 10 days – both of these data points are easily met by St. Mary’s.”

Given the one-day “snapshot” was used rather than an average statistic, Hyde wrote that St. Mary’s has submitted a waiver to the New York State Department of Health seeking permission to resume elective surgeries.

The hospital also has a plan to expand its ICU capacity to make sure that the 30% limit will continue to be met in the future.

Hyde added, “Our first commitment continues to be our patient’s, resident’s and associate’s safety and making sure we continue to respond effectively to this COVID-19 challenge. During this crisis most elective surgeries were postponed, but we have never stopped performing emergent or urgent surgery. We will resume elective surgeries slowly and cautiously, when we have approval from the NYS Department of Health to proceed.”

Tim Becker

Tim Becker is the owner of Anthem Websites Inc. which publishes The Compass. He serves as both editor and a writer.