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Vanderbilt defers 'non-emergent' procedures due to COVID-19 surge

Vanderbilt Medical
Posted at 3:29 PM, Nov 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-30 16:31:11-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Vanderbilt University Medical Center announced it is deferring select non-emergency procedures in order to prepare for what some say could be a post-Thanksgiving "super surge.”

"While we all hope to be proven wrong, like the experts in COVID modeling, we expect a post-Thanksgiving increase in diagnoses and hospitalizations. Some are calling what we expect to experience a 'super surge,'" said Deputy Chief Executive Officer C. Wright Pinson, MBA, MD.

Dr. Pinson said in a letter to hospital staff that not only is the hospital seeing a surge in COVID-19 patients, but the patients are also sicker than in recent months, requiring more ICU-level support.

"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. 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," said Dr. Pinson.

And consistent with data reported by the TDOH, we are seeing an increase in younger patients in their 20s and 30s requiring hospitalization.

The hospital's front-line teams will also be implementing alternative staffing models in some areas. Staff members were cross-trained earlier in the year so that they would be prepared to serve in different roles and in other areas if called upon.

Click here for the full statement and more information from VUMC.