COVID-19 is delaying these surgeries

Dr. Jen Ashton reports on the growing backlog in hospitals across the country.
2:08 | 10/22/20

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Transcript for COVID-19 is delaying these surgeries
billing. Dr. Ashton, always good to see you. We were talking about these numbers going up and up and up. Let's give the latest here. We're trying to put these in perspective. The numbers from John Hopkins university staggering 41.2 million of covid-19 cases diagnosed around the world. As you say, doc, those are the confirmed cases. 1.1 million deaths worldwide. Deaths here in the U.S. Climbing to 220,000. With these rises numbers, Jen, many hospitals across the country are reaching capacity or near capacity. We talked about this before there is a ripple effect. Still people are getting sick. People need surgeries. It's causing a lot of problems in the hospitals. Exactly. A new study really got my attention on this, Amy. It's not just about the emergency rooms and the icus. It's about the operating rooms. Let's look at the surgical delays for perspective. Again, in the spring of 2020 all elective surgeries were postponed understandably. In the summer they resumed. It was a very intermittent and patchy manner. There has been a decrease in surgical volumes in the fields of orthopedic surgery, ear, nose and throat and plastics surgery. It is estimated that this backlog could be more than 1 million cases of total hips, knees, joints, spine cases and in terms of cataract surgery estimated more than a million. Mckenzie and company are saying the deferral of millions of operations could have a significant impact on patients' lives, literally potentially their mortality. What are you supposed to do here? We're talking about surgery. This is not exactly something you can catch up on? The catch up is the key issues. The factors at play, number one, space, there's operating rooms, bed capacities in hospitals, out-patient surgery. There's workforce issues. Ppe issues. Mckenzie and company estimating it could take two years to catch up to this surgical backlog. Significant ripple effect. All right, Dr. Ashton, thank you. We'll check in with you plenty

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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