Philippine Journal of Surgical Specialties Vol. 75, No. 1, January-June, 2020 pp 11-14

PCS Guidelines on Post-ECQ Resumption of Elective Surgeries and Outpatient Clinics

Author(s): Philippine College of Surgeons

Since March 16, 2020 of the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ), all elective surgeries were put on hold primarily to contain the spread of COVID-19 and to conserve hospital resources and manpower. With the pending lifting (partial or total) of the ECQ, questions now arise whether to resume elective surgical procedures at this time. “It really depends on when the COVID-19 curve is flattened. We don’t think it is going to be cured and go away.”

As the curve begins to flatten, there is a demand to gradually resume elective surgical care for the increasing number of non-COVID-19 cases postponed and unduly delayed in the past 6 weeks.

With this mindset, we recommend the following guidelines for hospitals preparing to resume elective surgeries and out- patient clinic schedules. To ensure safety as well as facility and personnel readiness in operating rooms and all other procedural areas involved, the following conditions should be met before the resumption of elective surgeries:

General Guidelines For All Hospitals

  1. Preoperative Preparation
    1. Scheduling of Cases
    2. Screening of patients for elective surgery
  2. Concerns During Operation
    1. Proper OR attire for the personnel
    2. Proper facility
    3. Precautionary measures to be observed during procedures
  3. Postoperative Safety

Specific Guidelines For Hospitals

Surgical Care In The Out-Patient Department

The aforementioned guidelines are based on our current concept of COVID-19 and are not intended to replace clinical judgment. These recommendations can change as our understanding of COVID-19 evolves.

Key words: Guidelines for Hospitals