Blount Memorial Hospital at capacity

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If you live in Blount County and you're feeling sick, the ER may not be your best option. It could take a while to see a doctor there.

If you're rushed to Blount memorial for an emergency - no problem.
They''ll take care of you right away. The hospital is completely full, so if you're feeling sick here's what you need to know.

Many of us are under the weather with the flu, bronchitis and head colds. So much so that Blount Memorial Hospital has run out of room. Blount Memorial Hospital Chief Nursing Officer Sonya Newman says, "All of our inpatient beds are full. We are boarding some in the emergency room and treating them in the emergency room."

Two hundred forty-eight people are in the hospital right now.
Every bed is full. The last time this happened was last January and lasted about 3 weeks. The patients don't just have the flu. They have a variety of sickness. Newman says, "It's something we're prepared for. We have policies and procedures in place to manage the situation."

So if it's not an emergency, you might be better off heading somewhere else. Like CareToday which is a walk-in clinic in Maryville. Thirty-six physicians are on staff, and they're working longer hours to take care of you. Blount Memorial Hospital Public Relations Manager Josh West says, "You can come here for flu-like symptoms, upset stomach and any type of respirator problems. Anything you'd see a general practitioner for you can pretty much see here."

With the overflow at the hospital, CareToday is seeing 130 patients a day. Their hours are 7 a-m to 9 p-m. We called around to other hospitals University of Tennessee Medical Center is also pretty full.
They have implemented the Capacity Management Surge Plan to better serve the public.