NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — On Monday, Vanderbilt University Medical Center announced it would begin deferring select, non-emergent procedures to keep up with COVID-19 patient demand.
In a statement, VUMC officials said the number of COVID-19 patients requiring hospitalizations has risen dramatically and staff expected to see a post-Thanksgiving surge in cases.
“We are concerned enough that beginning today, to prioritize resources for the most immediate needs of the region, we will begin deferring select, non-emergent procedures,” Chief Health System Officer Dr. C. Wright Pinson said in the statement. “As we go about this process, we will be doing so in a way that each case will be individually reviewed. Procedures chosen to be deferred will be based on consultation with our clinicians and the safety of each patient involved. And in each case appointments will be rescheduled as quickly as possible.”
Over the last several weeks, VUMC reports seeing more severe COVID-19 cases and more patients requiring ventilation and ICU-support.
“During the past several weeks, the numbers of COVID patients requiring hospitalization in our facilities have risen dramatically,” Dr. Pinson said. “Not only are more Nashvillians requiring hospitalization but the number of transfers we are receiving from throughout the region has risen sharply. Yesterday, the Tennessee Department of Health (TDOH) reported another 3,024 COVID cases within a 24-hour period while nearly 2,200 patients are currently hospitalized across the state due to the virus.”
VUMC is implementing alternative staffing models to help front-line teams. Earlier this year, staff were cross-trained so they could serve in different roles, if needed.
Doctors said they were hopeful for COVID-19 vaccines coming to the market and antibody therapies Vanderbilt researchers are currently testing. VUMC officials say they expect to learn more about the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines in Tennessee later this week.
“Please be well and continue to wear your mask, practice physical distancing, and continue to practice good hand hygiene. We need your contribution in the days ahead as we meet our region’s needs in this worldwide crisis.”
COVID-19 in Tennessee
(This reflects what the TDH is reporting each day at 2 p.m. CST )
Stay with News 2 for continuing coverage of the COVID-19 Pandemic.