American College of Surgeons releases clinical guidance for elective surgery triage during COVID-19

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The American College of Surgeons (ACS) has published guidance for surgeons to curtail recommendations for elective surgical procedures to preserve resources for the care of critically ill patients during the COVID-19 pandemic.

To assist in surgical decision-making in curtailing cases, ACS has released “COVID-19: Elective case triage guidelines for surgical care,” a new surgical triage document that was developed following expert review in several specialties. The document includes guidance for orthopaedic surgeons, with specific recommendations relating to spine surgeries.

The triage recommendations are intended to be used in conjunction with a joint statement ACS has developed with the American Society of Anesthesiologists and the Association of periOperative Registered Nurses recommending medical centres develop a Surgical Review Committee to act as an administrative body to provide defined, transparent, and responsive oversight for triaging surgical cases during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“These triage guidelines and joint recommendations are being issued as we appear to be entering a new phase of the COVID-19 pandemic with more hospitals facing a potential push beyond their resources to care for critically ill patients. ACS will continue to monitor the landscape for surgical care but we feel this guidance document provides a sound foundation for surgeons to begin enacting these triage recommendations today to help them make the best decisions possible for their patients during COVID-19,” said ACS executive director David B Hoyt.

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