Dr. Husain Abbas, FACS
Everybody knows that there is a surge of cases in Florida, but these tend to be in the younger population. We have not seen an increase in hospitalization. We do everything that needs to be done to make sure that our patients are protected.
- The first thing that we do is we’ve limited the number of visitors – specifically unnecessary visitors. And even when patients come in, we are trying to limit who actually comes and who doesn’t.
- Universal mask wearing. Everybody must wear a mask. The mask is really not for me. This mask does not protect me, but I’d like to think that by wearing this mask, I am protecting others. That has been adopted at our hospital here in Jacksonville.
- Everybody gets tested for COVID-19. I myself and my group have been very liberal with testing everybody. We would rather know if somebody’s positive because they may be asymptomatic and of course we can just delay the surgery.
So, all of these factors have been put in place because we truly believe it’s extremely important not to delay something (bariatric surgery, other general surgical procedures) that could give patients such a tremendous benefit.
If we do feel that perhaps the risks are starting to go up and we start seeing increasing hospitalizations, we will be the first to tell our patients. Just like we did not too long ago. We, in fact, stopped all elective cases until we figure out what exactly is this virus what it does…how does it affect patients? We stopped all elective surgery for six weeks.
What I can tell you is if I was a patient, or if I had a family member, I would happily bring them here because I do believe we’re doing everything possible to ensure the safety, which is the number one priority of our patients. And, of course, the second is delivering excellent care and getting the patient in the hospital and out of the hospital in a timely but efficient fashion.