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Resuming Elective Surgeries

Box Butte General Hospital (BBGH) is monitoring the dynamic shifts of the COVID-19 pandemic, and is thoughtfully re-introducing elective procedures and surgeries beginning May 4. The hospital’s commitment to safety protocols includes remaining vigilant when it comes to sanitation, screening, visitor restrictions, masking and further guidelines from the Center for Disease Control (CDC).

The initial focus will be on resuming elective outpatient surgeries, and limited specialty clinic appointments for those deferred or canceled during the initial COVID-19 response phase. All procedures will take place as clinically appropriate, adhering to guidelines established by Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), as well as state and local health officials.

The hospital’s visitation restriction remains in place as social distancing is still required.  As visitation pertains to surgeries, the patient’s advocate will work with surgery staff to receive all paperwork and instruction associated with discharge after the procedure.

Surveillance of patients and employees continues, including wearing a mask while in the hospital. Multiple COVID-19 screenings should be expected as patients work their way through the health system from the history and physical intake, the pre-operative appointment, to reminder calls. Screening is important to determine the health of the patient and hospital employees prior to surgery. It is important to stay abreast of all symptoms.

The hospital has an adequate supply of personal protective equipment (PPE) for patients, visitors, clinicians, caregivers, and staff. BBGH has implemented science-based and thoughtful procedures to help maintain appropriate PPE for all who enter the hospital and hospital owned clinics.

Greater Nebraska Medical and Surgical Services (GNMSS) in Alliance is open to answer your questions about COVID-19 and available for your healthcare needs. Both face to face and telehealth visits are offered. Call the clinic at (308) 762- 7244 to schedule an appointment. 

The current Directed Health Measure that includes Box Butte County is in effect until May 11. Both GNMSS-Hemingford and GNMSS-Hyannis plan to open Wednesday, May 13, continuing measures directed by Panhandle Public Health District. Thank you for your patience as we navigate these measures together.

Box Butte General Hospital thanks the community for being part of the solution. Staying home and following guidelines suggested by the CDC and governing bodies, shows integrity and helps keep the community safe. It takes teamwork, compassion, and devotion to teach remotely, learn from a distance, work from home, help those in need, and remain positive.

Should you seek care?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports not everyone needs to be tested for COVID-19. Most people have a mild illness and are able to recover at home without medical care. There is no treatment approved for people who have tested positive for COVID-19.

The CDC offers guidance for who should be tested with a focus on symptoms of fever, dry cough, and shortness of breath. New symptoms of chills, repeated shaking with chills, onset of muscle pain, headache, sore throat, loss of taste or smell have been added to the list. Decisions for Box Butte County residents about testing are at the discretion of local individual clinicians in partnership with Panhandle Public Health District.

If any of these emergency warning signs* for COVID-19 develop, get medical attention immediately:

Trouble breathing

Persistent pain or pressure in the chest

New confusion or inability to arouse

Blush lips or face

*This list is not all inclusive. Please consult your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning.

Call 911 if you have a medical emergency. Notify the operator if you believe you have COVID-19. If available, put a cloth face covering or mask on before medical help arrives.

BBGH staff are available to answer additional questions about COVID-19 testing, please call the hospital at (308) 762- 6660.

Box Butte General Hospital closely monitors the CDC guidelines and is working with Nebraska’s State Epidemiologist and other public health experts regarding care of patients. Please continue to watch our website for updates.

For more information, please follow these links:

https://www.bbgh.org/covid-19-information-resources/page.html

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/downloads/priority-testing-patients.pdf