March 24, 2020
Joint Statement Recommending a Surgical Review Committee for COVID-19-Related Surgical Triage Decision Making
Developed by the American College of Surgeons, American Society of Anesthesiologists and the Association of periOperative Registered Nurses
The COVID-19 crisis is requiring hospitals and ambulatory surgery centers throughout the country to defer non-essential surgery to preserve personal protective equipment (PPE), protect the safety of health care professionals and allocate potentially scarce resources for the care of the COVID-19 patient. In the last week, the American College of Surgeons (ACS) and the United States Department of Health and Human Services have promulgated guidance for postponement of elective, non-essential surgery. Implementation has varied from community to community based on health care resources, disease spread in the community, and patient need. National guidance is needed.
To serve as a resource for decision making, ACS, in conjunction with the surgical specialty societies has prepared triage criteria
. ACS and the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) recommend that decisions on surgery cases be made on a daily basis, no later than the day before surgery, by a leadership team representing surgery, anesthesiology, and nursing.
A Surgical Review Committee, composed of surgery, anesthesiology, and nursing personnel to provide defined, transparent, and responsive oversight is essential. This committee can lead the development and implementation of guidelines that are fair, transparent, and equitable for the hospital, system in consideration of rapidly evolving local/regional issues