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COVID-19: SMSNA Issues Statement on Elective Procedures

As people across the world cope with the coronavirus (COVID-19), the Sexual Medicine Society of North America (SMSNA) has released a statement on elective surgical procedures. (Note: The SMSNA is the organization responsible for SexHealthMatters.org.)

In the March 20, 2020 statement, the SMSNA urged surgeons to stop performing elective procedures and recommended that “facilities in areas with growing incidences of COVID-19 reduce non-urgent, surgical, diagnostic, and interventional procedures.”

This means that for the time being, healthcare providers should not conduct procedures that aren’t medically necessary at the moment. It does not mean that such procedures cannot be considered in the future or that they will not be done if a condition worsens. Rather, the procedures should be postponed until further notice. For now, it is important for medical facilities to have enough hospital beds, equipment, and other resources to meet the needs of the current crisis.

The SMSNA supports similar recommendations made by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the United States Surgeon General, the American Society of Anesthesiologists, and the Anesthesia Patient Safety Foundation.

“In light of the serious and existential threat posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, this statement serves to inform our members and the greater community of sexual medicine health care providers that SMSNA fully supports the above recommendations pertaining to elective procedures in order to protect their health and the health of those in the surrounding community,” the statement concluded.

Patients who are concerned about upcoming appointments and procedures are advised to contact their healthcare providers. Further information about the coronavirus is available at the CDC website and from province, state, and local health departments.

Resources

American College of Surgeons

“COVID-19: Recommendations for Management of Elective Surgical Procedures”

(March 13, 2020)

https://www.facs.org/covid-19/clinical-guidance/elective-surgery

American Society of Anesthesiologists

“ASA-APSF Joint Statement on Non-Urgent Care During the COVID-19 Outbreak”

(March 17, 2020)

https://www.asahq.org/about-asa/newsroom/news-releases/2020/03/asa-apsf-joint-statement-on-non-urgent-care-during-the-covid-19-outbreak

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

“Interim Guidance for Healthcare Facilities: Preparing for Community Transmission of COVID-19 in the United States”

(Page last reviewed: February 29, 2020)

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/healthcare-facilities/guidance-hcf.html

Sexual Medicine Society of North America

“SMSNA Statement on Elective Procedures”

(March 20, 2020)

https://www.smsna.org/V1/news/603-smsna-statement-on-elective-procedures