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Potential long-term consequences of stretched care in Idaho hospitals create concern

St. Luke’s says they have around 7,000 to 8,000 surgeries to do
Published: Nov. 23, 2021 at 6:01 PM MST
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Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) — Even as COVID-19 cases decline and hospitals begin to breathe a little bit easier, there are still consequences to the past two-plus months of crisis standards of care in Idaho’s hospitals.

It will take months to get back on track with the backlog of surgeries. According to St. Luke’s, the hospital is behind around 7,000 to 8,000 surgeries, and the process of catching up will stretch over six months.

The Director of the Department of Health and Welfare Dave Jeppesen acknowledges this will be the case for hospitals statewide. However, other effects could be felt for a lot longer than just a few months.

“We do think that there will be some impact probably in long term disease impact,” said Jeppesen. “What that impact is, we are not totally sure, we do know that there will be some impact.”

While most Idaho hospitals are now out of the crisis standards, many are operating under contingency operations. This means hospitals are still under more stress than they would be under normal operations.

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