Dentists, doctors postponing scheduled visits and procedures during coronavirus pandemic

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Some dentists and doctors are temporarily turning people down for scheduled visits on non-emergency visits as the coronavirus pandemic creates a growing number of cases in the U.S.

The American Dental Association has recommended “dentists nationwide postpone elective procedures for the next three weeks,” according to the group’s website. An elective procedure is defined simply as a procedure that is scheduled.

“Concentrating on emergency dental care will allow us to care for our emergency patients and alleviate the burden that dental emergencies would place on hospital emergency departments,” the ADA stated.

While this is only a recommendation, some dentists have begun refraining from scheduling appointments for the next three weeks. Dentists aren’t the only ones, either.

U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams called for all hospitals to consider canceling elective procedures as the number of cases in the country continue to rise faster. Hospitals and organizations on social media retweeted their support for the announcement.

Adams said elective procedures increases the chance of the spread of COVID-19, takes away from protective equipment that doctors need, like face masks and taxes medical personnel.

However, a collection of medical organizations responded with a letter, stating they were worried about a mass “stop elective procedures” rule. In the letter, the groups said some elective procedures include important, timely proceedings involving heart health and cancer.

“Instead, elective and non-urgent procedures, both those in an operating room and in other areas where the procedure can be safely performed, should be based on a case-by-case evaluation of many factors,” the letter states.

While some medical professionals appear to be postponing elective procedures, others are deciding not to while maintaining other practices to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

For example, an official told FOX4 that HCA hospitals are not allowing family members to go back into medical rooms with sick loved ones. Only one parent can go with a sick child. They are also not allowing anyone to visit sick patients in the hospital.  

Anyone looking to schedule an appointment in the near future should contact their own care giver to find out what their policy is during this pandemic.

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