Ascension Via Christi postpones elective procedures

Hospital shifts to COVID-19 surge plan.
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PITTSBURG, Kan. – Crawford County continues to see increases in COVID-19 cases, with county health officials saying there’s been a shift to the older, more vulnerable population. Health officials also say hospitals are either at or close to capacity.

And now, local hospitals are having to make changes to keep up.

“When you start out slow and you have one, two, three, four patients you just kind of carve out an area of a floor,” says Randy Cason, President of Ascension Via Christi Hospital in Pittsburg. “We’ve gotten to the point where we have carved out an entire wing.”

As of Tuesday, October 13th, the hospital has 23 COVID-19 patients. Some of them are set to go home this evening, but the others will have to stay even if they require more intensive care because hospitals all over the area are seeing surges in patients.

“All of our regional hospitals, including those in Joplin and those in Kansas City are on diversion. What’s called diversion. They just cannot accept more patients. So, as a result, we just tend to hold our patients here,” says Cason.

So now, the hospital is temporarily suspending all non-emergent and elective procedures.

“We needed to do that in order to make sure that we could redeploy those resources that would normally take care of those patients,” says Cason. “Not just for taking care of the COVID patients and that surge of patients that we’ve seen, but also we wanted to make sure that we have those beds and resources available for all emergency, urgent, and emergent care.”

As of right now, the suspension is temporary, and they plan to let patients know so that procedures can be canceled or rescheduled.

“We are evaluating daily where we stand and we want to get back to providing those elective procedures. Because although we call them elective, they are procedures that need to be done.”

Cason also wants residents to know that the suspension does not include emergency services, so residents are encouraged to seek care if they have an emergency or need emergency care.


Original story:

Ascension Via Christi Hospital in Pittsburg postpones elective and non-emergent procedures, due to an influx of cases in Crawford and Bourbon Counties.

Hospital officials say implementing the surge plan they developed in the spring will allow them to reallocate associates from other hospital departments to help care for the influx of patients.

Patients scheduled for elective and non-emergent procedures will be notified of cancellations or rescheduling needs.

“Our first priority is always the safety of our patients and associates,” says Randy Cason, President of Ascension Via Christi Hospital in Pittsburg in a press release. “We are fortunate to have close
relationships with our sister hospitals in Wichita and Manhattan who may be called upon to help provide additional clinical support and resources.”

Officials say patients should consult with their physician if they have additional questions.