Health Care

Nebraska extends suspension of some hospital surgeries

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LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Nebraskans who need certain types of surgeries will need to wait longer under a public health measure that will continue through October.

Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts announced Wednesday that he was extending the measure through Oct. 31 to help short-staffed hospitals cope with existing patients. The directed health measure had been scheduled to expire on Thursday.

The order applies to inpatient Class D and E elective surgeries for all acute care, critical care and children’s hospitals in Nebraska. Class D and E surgeries are elective procedures that can wait four weeks or longer without substantially changing a patient’s outcome.

Even so, postponing procedures such as knee surgeries could leave patients in more pain that they would have experienced if they had gotten them right away.

The order could be extended again, depending on hospital capacity. Ricketts imposed the order to help hospitals with a glut of patients. Some of those patients were hospitalized because of the coronavirus, but most are in for other reasons.


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