June 21, 2023

ASA, APSF update recommendations for elective surgery after COVID-19 infection

By: Judy Mathias

Editor's Note

Because of recent studies, the evolving nature of COVID-19, and widespread vaccination, the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) and Anesthesia Patient Safety Foundation (APSF) on June 20 released a joint statement providing updated recommendations for the timing of elective surgery and anesthesia after COVID-19 infection.

The recommendations include:

  • Patients with COVID-19 type symptoms should be screened and, if appropriate, tested before an elective procedure.
  • Elective procedures should not occur within 2 weeks of COVID-19 infection.
  • A patient’s physicians should conduct a risk assessment between 2 and 7 weeks after COVID-19 infection and, if low risk, consider rescheduling the procedure.
  • Delay of surgery after 7 weeks should be considered if the patient still has COVID-19 symptoms.
  • Facilities, surgeons, and anesthesiologists should track COVID-19 patient outcomes after elective surgery.

These recommendations help provide guidance on balancing the risk of delaying surgery with the risk of complications, ASA says.


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