St. Vincent Healthcare see's decrease in elective surgeries

BILLINGS, Mont. - Staff at St. Vincent Healthcare are noticing more patients are avoiding non-emergency or elective surgeries, which they say can be dangerous. 

Orthopedic Surgeon for St. Vincent Healthcare, Dr. Dean Sukin says he deals with emergency surgeries like broken bones and infections, but also elective surgeries, operating on hips, knees and spines.

Sukin says patients dealing with these chronic pains exercise less and eat more, resulting in poor health. Sukin believes patients ignoring their surgeries are afraid of getting COVID in the hospitals. According to the surgeon no patients have contracted COVID at St. Vincent thanks to extensive safety protocols.

"The statistics and the science are very strong indicating that if patients follow the recommendations, they get a vaccine, that the risk of them picking COVID up in a hospital environment is extremely low and it is very safe place for them to be," says Dr. Sukin.

Dr. Sukin also mentioned not all of his patients are eligible to receive the COVID vaccine but encourages those who are eligible to do so.

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