Surgery in the time of COVID

My husband had shoulder replacement surgery in Seattle this week. It has been a bit of a surreal experience so far.

Of course, he was tested for COVID 2 days before surgery (negative).  And the COVID precautions are ubiquitous throughout the process.

On the day of surgery, he had to go to his provider’s office.  Masks were required for everyone and only one visitor is allowed per patient.  To be admitted to the waiting room, everyone is verbally screened for COVID symptoms and has a temperature taken.

When it was time to go to the hospital, we were again verbally screened at the entrance, but no temperature was taken.  He registered and we were sent to the waiting room.  It is a dismal place, but physical distancing was possible.  I didn’t see anyone keeping an eye on the room, however.  While everyone was masked, I don’t think I would have felt comfortable spending several hours in that indoor environment with people coming and going.

When he was called to be taken to the surgery staging area, I was not allowed to accompany him.  Fortunately, his surgeon had already suggested I not wait and got my phone number.  If that hadn’t happened, I would have been stuck in waiting room purgatory for who knows how long!

Fortunately, the surgery went well.  His doc is a rock star! My husband feels like he got excellent care all around.  He did not have to wear a mask, but the staff were all masked.  We do know he tested negative for COVID on Monday.

We are relieved to have this surgery behind him.  With COVID on the rise in many places, elective surgeries such as his might quickly become a thing of the past!



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