BOARDMAN, Ohio (WKBN) – Ohio will start its reopening process on Friday with elective surgeries now being allowed. Akron Children’s Hospital Mahoning Valley has a plan in place.
Just this past Monday, Gov. Mike DeWine said hospitals can start rescheduling surgeries that were postponed.
“We know that there have been a lot of patients and families that have been waiting to have their surgeries that were postponed,” said Lisa Aurilio, the hospital’s chief operating officer.
About 1,500 surgeries need to be scheduled. Before the pandemic, they did 80 to 100 surgeries a day. Since then, between five and 10.
“So, we’ll be slowly ramping that up. Starting with our outpatient then, eventually, moving to those who need inpatient,” Aurilio said.
Akron Children’s Hospital has been preparing for the day when Gov. DeWine would make that announcement about surgeries. So, noticeable changes will now be made around the hospital.
“So that people can feel reassured if they come into the hospital that we’re well prepared to take care of them in a safe way,” Aurilio said.
Some of those changes include making spots for people to sit or stand six feet apart, being required to wear masks if you’re over 2 years old — if you don’t have one, they’ll give you one — and being screened, such as temperature taking. They will also have limited entrances and curbside check-ins.
“Where, if you have an appointment, you can call from your car. Say you’re there and sit in your car verse a waiting room until it’s time to come in and go directly into the exam room,” Aurilio said.
But, the amount of surgeries they’ll be able to get to will depend on personal protective equipment.
“So every day, we will monitor our PPE and that will give us an idea of how many cases we can do,” Aurilio said.
Akron Children’s Hospital is going to start things off a little slow, maybe about 30 surgeries a day and take it one day at a time.