Hospitals across the country are resuming elective surgeries

U.S. & World

(NBC) – Hospitals across the country are back open for business as elective procedures are allowed to resume.

Now, patients are dealing with nerves, and surgeons with a backlog of cases — some of which have grown significantly more urgent during quarantine.

Almost as soon as Illinois gave the green light for elective procedures to resume, Rosemary Grow was checking in to Northwestern Memorial Hospital to have a heart valve repaired.

“I had no reservations at all about it because I was miserable,” she said.

She, like patients at many hospitals, underwent new screenings including coronavirus testing before procedures, temperature checks, and restrictions or bans on visitors.

Interventional Cardiologist Dr. James Flaherty and his colleagues are using a tiered system to prioritize a backlog of patients.

The wait has increased the urgency of some cases, like Beverly Leonard’s.

“When I couldn’t walk from the front of the house to the bedroom in the back of the house without stopping to catch my breath, it was, what am I going to do?” she said.

Rapidly deteriorating, she underwent a heart valve replacement just before the elective procedure start date.

Both she, a retired nurse, and Rosemary Grow were impressed with the new safety measures.

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