Ascension Via Christi president highlights importance of COVID pre-screening before surgery


Ascension Via Christi President and CEO Bob Copple

Ascension Via Christi continues to pre-screen for all surgical or planned interventional procedures for the coronavirus.
So far two patients have tested positive at Via Christi and had to have their procedures postponed. Manhattan Surgical Center has postponed one due to a positive test. Via Christi President and CEO Bob Copple explains how different aspects of a procedure can complicate things for a COVID patient.
“We don’t always understand all the science but there are documented incidents where patients who had some kind of anesthesia and were positive with COVID tended to have all kinds of different complications after the procedure,” he said.
The study Copple’s referring to is a recent publication in The Lancet by Covidsburg, a peer-reviewed medical journal. It found more than half of COVID-19 patients undergoing surgery had a pulmonary complication in the month following a procedure. Nearly 24 percent of those patients died.
Copple says the end goal is avoiding complications, infections or other vulnerabilities a patient may experience. Copple acknowledges it may be an inconvenience for many because of the 3 -5 day preparation prior to a procedure.
“If you’re having surgery on Monday, we would probably have you come in on Thursday, get swabbed so we can get the result back before you’re doing you preparation for your procedure so that we would know on Monday that you’re good to go. In the meantime, from Thursday to Monday, we would need you to home isolate,” he said.
Copple says it’s too risky for someone to go out prior to surgery and not potentially become infected during that short window, adding to the layer of inconvenience.
Bob Copple appears on the second Friday of each month on KMAN’s In Focus. A link to this month’s interview can be found here.

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Brandon Peoples

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