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Surgeries continue at Sioux Falls Specialty Hospital

Argus Leader (Sioux Falls) logo Argus Leader (Sioux Falls) 3/25/2020 Jonathan Ellis, Sioux Falls Argus Leader
a person standing in front of a building: The Sioux Falls Specialty Hospital on Monday, March 23, in Sioux Falls. © Erin Bormett / Argus Leader The Sioux Falls Specialty Hospital on Monday, March 23, in Sioux Falls.

The Sioux Falls Specialty Hospital continues to perform surgeries for patients who are in pain, but those surgeries comply with Gov. Kristi Noem’s order for providers to cease elective surgeries, the hospital’s chief executive officer said Tuesday.

Noem’s executive order said health providers should postpone “all non-essential elective surgeries to conserve (and thereby maximize) supplies of personal protective equipment (PPE).”

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Hospital CEO Dr. Blake Curd said that the facility has been taking steps for weeks to prepare for the pandemic and that the facility is following guidelines set by federal and state officials.

“SFSH is continuing to provide essential services to our patients who are in pain and suffering,” Curd said in a text to the Argus Leader. “The steps already taken and continuing to be taken by SFSH to protect the availability of PPE and keep patients and employees safe while we treat patients who need our services in the face of this pandemic are in alignment with this new order from the governor and also the recommendations released by the Center for Medicaid Services.”

More: Coronavirus cases could swamp South Dakota hospitals if projections hold

Dr. David Jones, the president of the Orthopedic Institute, which performs orthopedic surgeries at the physician-owned hospital, said in an email that all “non-essential surgeries are being postponed.”

“We are taking care of patients who are injured and in significant pain,” Jones said. “We are continually monitoring the situation and in communication with state health officials as well as the local hospitals regarding community needs.”

Federal guidelines released in the wake of the outbreak call for health providers to postpone low-acuity procedures, such as colonoscopies and cataract surgeries, and to consider postponing non-urgent procedures, including knee and hip replacements and elective spine surgery.

Sioux Falls Specialty Hospital is one of two specialty hospitals in South Dakota in which the Canadian company Medical Facilities Corp. has a majority ownership stake. Besides a 51% stake in Sioux Falls, MFC owns about 54% of shares of Black Hills Surgical Hospital in Rapid City. Black Hills Surgical announced Sunday that it would postpone all elective surgeries.

A spokesman for MFC did not return an email.

At Sioux Falls Specialty, the hospital web site says that it is taking precautions, including reducing visitors to one family member who has been screened for the disease.

“Sioux Falls Specialty Hospital recognizes the health concerns and impact that the Coronavirus (Covid 19) has taken on our communities,” the web site says. “We remain open in order to provide the care and treatment you need and are taking every precaution possible in order to service you and your family.”

Reach reporter Jonathan Ellis at 605-575-3629 or jonellis@argusleader.com. Twitter: @ArgusJellis

This article originally appeared on Sioux Falls Argus Leader: Surgeries continue at Sioux Falls Specialty Hospital

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