UT Medical deferring in-patient non-essential procedures

Published: Dec. 8, 2020 at 1:06 PM EST
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - Doctor Keith Gray from the University of Tennessee Medical Center said Tuesday that the hospital has begun deferring non-essential procedures that require in-patient beds.

Dr. Gray said the purpose of doing so is to free up needed beds and staff members.

The criteria for what constitutes an “essential procedure” will be left to the individual clinicians to decide for different patients on a case-by-case basis.

Dr. Gray said that hospitals are already utilizing “surge capacity” beds, meaning that beds that may normally be used for patient recovery or other uses have been transformed into acute care or ICU beds as needed.

Dr. Gray said that no hospitals in the Knox County system have needed to utilize any National Guard members or the mobile morgue units made available by the state.

“We’re breaking hospital records, really, on a routine basis,” said Dr. Gray.

However, Dr. Gray said medical professionals want the public to know that it is safe to come to the hospital in the event of a medical emergency.

“We have an opportunity to be victorious if we would just not allow ourselves to grow weary or become discouraged in doing what we know is right and what we know is good. We will emerge victorious if we do not give in,” said Dr. Gray.

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