Grand Strand health care providers making changes to elective procedures, surgeries due to COVID-19

Elective Procedures and COVID-19

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) - Across the country, there is a shortage of protective gear for health care providers battling the spread of COVID-19.

Because of this fact, U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams said hospitals and health care systems should stop elective surgeries and non-urgent visits.

Right now, North Myrtle Beach Dentistry is only seeing patients that are in serious pain, patients whose conditions could get significantly worse if not attended to right away.

This comes after the American Dental Association started recommending postponing elective dental procedures for the next few weeks due to COVID-19, ensuring dentists focus on patients who are in need of emergency work.

Other health care providers like plastic surgeons have also taken the same precautions.

“So we feel the best thing we can do is stop doing cosmetic surgeries, stop doing Botox and fillers because with Botox and fillers, we’re using personal protective equipment that is in really short supply," said Dr. Ralph Cozart with Myrtle Beach Plastic Surgery.

Grand Strand Medical Center said they will not postpone surgeries where a delay might negatively impact a patient’s health or turn their situation into an emergency. Physicians will also make decisions case-by-case.

For Tidelands Health, they said they’ve temporarily rescheduled elective surgeries and some outpatient procedures including mammogram screenings, bone-density testing, heart scan calcium scoring, low-dose lung cancer screening and screening colonoscopies.

And they aren’t the only ones to make changes. Carolina Forest Family Eyecare is temporarily closed for routine exams.

When it comes to emergencies, doctors across the Grand Strand are taking all the precautions they can.

“For staff, we are using masks, gowns and anything that we have available, but we aren’t available to get the respirator masks so we just have to make do the best we can," Cozart said.

Copyright 2020 WMBF. All rights reserved.