Providence Health Care says it is delaying all non-emergency surgeries and procedures at its two Spokane hospitals because of the Covid patient crush and resulting staff shortages.
The decision affects care at Sacred Heart and Holy Family hospitals.
The provider says it isn’t sure how long the pause will be in effect. It depends on Covid trends and the staffing situation.
The Providence decision has been made by other providers in Washington and it trickles down to patients who receiving care for non-Covid illnesses, says Taya Briley, the executive vice president of the Washington State Hospital Association.
“For those who are experiencing a heart attack or a stroke, time between those events and treatment, there’s a narrow window of time in which people can receive treatment and have minimized loss of heart tissue or brain tissue and we know that people are experiencing longer wait times than they normally would and that they are losing that precious tissue with those longer wait times," she said.
Briley says the state may be starting to see a plateau in the number of Covid cases around the state. On Monday she said the state had reported 1,673 people receiving hospital care for Covid, one fewer than the previous week. But she says hospitals may not yet have seen the full health effects of the Labor Day holiday weekend.