COOS BAY — Non-urgent surgeries are being delayed at Bay Area Hospital.

“After consultation with our own medical staff leaders and in response to requests from our state and national health leaders, (BAH) has decided to start delaying non-urgent procedures,” said Kelli Dion, BAH’s public information officer, on Thursday.

The reason behind the delay in these surgeries is to preserve resources, particularly Personal Protective Equipment and masks. This way these items will be available for patients who are critically ill during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Procedures that will be delayed are those in the operating room, cath lab, and diagnostic imagine.

“Anything where PPE is being used,” Dion said. “What this means for the public is if you had a procedure scheduled at BAH, please call the operating surgeon to know if it has been delayed. Not all surgeries are being canceled and the decision lies with the surgeon as to whether it is safe to delay it or not. The hospital will not be making that decision so the best source of information is the surgeon’s office.”

Dion reminded the public that no visitors are being allowed inside BAH either.

A community coming together

In the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, the community has risen to support BAH. This week, an anonymous family catered lunch and dinner for the Emergency Department staff to say “Thank You” for their hard work.

“Several groups are sewing masks for our healthcare workers in the event that we are not able to get our shipments of critical personal protective equipment in,” Dion wrote in an email to The World. “We have them on order but they are back ordered as the globe faces this pandemic.”

To help with this shortage, she added that several community members have dropped off masks for BAH’s healthcare workers and that Southwestern Oregon Community College donated some PPE as well from its Nursing and Paramedic Program.

“It feels really good to have the community come along side us to support the caregivers that will be on the front line,” Dion wrote. “It shows what Coos County is really made of.”

Reporter Jillian Ward can be reached at 541-269-1222, ext. 236, or by email at worldnews1@countrymedia.net. Follow her on Twitter: @je_wardwriter.

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