Hospitals in western Tennessee to start sorting care

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) – On August 16, the UT Emergency Medicine Department and Memphis Area Emergency Department medical directors sent a letter to city and county mayors, describing the condition current of Memphis / Shelby County hospitals during this second wave of the pandemic.

The letter obtained by WVLT News, indicated that they had no more room for the patients.

“Currently, our system emergency departments are running dangerously overcapacity and house dozens of patients admitted to each of our emergency departments, officials said in the letter. “The projections for COVID patients are that inpatients will double by the end of this month and increase six-fold by the end of September. This increase would produce more COVID patients admitted than the city has hospital beds for a normal day. These are larger numbers than those we have faced again during the pandemic and do not take into account non-COVID patient emergencies such as strokes, heart attacks and trauma. ”

Due to the increase in the number of patients, staff began to screen patients in order to decide who would be seen.

“To be clear, we may not be able to provide timely care to everyone and will have to make choices about providing care to patients based on their likelihood of survival,” officials said. in the letter. “Currently, the city has no surge capacity to deal with further disaster or unforeseen events.”

Medical authorities have recommended that a mask warrant be reinstated until 80% of the eligible population is vaccinated.

They also said the crisis is due to a lack of qualified personnel.

“Mitigation strategies are already being used by hospitals, such as managing elective and even urgent surgeries and expanding ratios of nursing care with volunteers, but this is a temporary interim measure and will not follow. probably NOT the outbreak, although a city-wide mask mandate goes into effect today.

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