Last updated on April 2, 2020
By Luis Quintanilla
Volunteer State Community college is lending a hand to local hospitals by loaning ventilators and supplying them with much needed personal protective equipment (PPE). The college loaned ventilators from its Respiratory Program to the hospitals Sumner Regional Medical Center in Gallatin and Centennial Medical Center in Nashville. One has been loaned to Sumner Regional, while two others have gone to Centennial Medical.
PPE such as masks, gloves and face shields were also sent to Sumner Regional, Hendersonville Medical Center and the Sumner County Emergency Management Agency. The equipment comes from Vol State’s programs in its Health Sciences Division and Physical Plant Operations.
In a news release by the college, President Jerry Faulkner stated the school has always maintained a great partnership with these local health agencies. “They regularly support our programs by providing clinical access for student training, sharing their expertise and contributing financially to the college foundation. We are honored to be able to support our partners during the pandemic crisis,” stated Faulkner.
Across the nation hospitals have been overwhelmed with a spike in cases in the past two weeks, with much needed equipment on low supply. From ventilators to PPE such as gloves, masks, face shields and Tyvex suits, the crucial equipment needed by health care workers on the frontline are running dangerously low in states across the country. By loaning this much needed equipment, Vol State is pitching in to aid in this unprecedented crisis.
In Tennessee’s case, according to data compiled by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, at its projected peak for cases of the virus, the state will be lacking 2,318 ventilators. If the state continues along its current path to the projected peak, it will be short more than 11,000 hospital beds and 2,200 ICU beds in its hospitals. According to the projection, the peak for the state will come in late April.
However, these are just projections, not definite set in stone. To prevent this peak, Tennessee health officials are asking citizens to remain home and exercise social distancing. Despite Governor Bill Lee issuing a “Safer At Home” order, an order closing nonessential business such as barber shops, entertainment and salons, the order is not a strict mandatory shelter in place.
Health officials such as Dr. James Hildreth, President and CEO at Meharry Medical College, urge Tennesseans to heed public health warnings and guidelines, otherwise the state may reach the projected peak and may begin to see itself in a position such as New York City where a surge of cases has overwhelmed hospitals and have led to field hospitals in places like Central Park.
Again, one can do his or her part by staying home, avoiding nonessential travel and practicing social distancing and routine hygiene. To stay informed on the situation in Tennessee or on the overall pandemic one can visit the Tennessee Department of Health and the CDC respectively.
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