MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Since the outbreak of COVID-19 there have been concerns about the capacity hospitals will have to treat patients. One group of doctors want to prevent that by making sure certain patients know they have other options than a hospital’s emergency room.
Forty percent of emergency room visits are for orthopedic injuries or injuries to someone’s muscular skeleton. The doctors at Campbell Clinic Orthopaedics are trying to reach out to that 40 % of patients.
“Pandemic or no pandemic injuries are still going to happen,” Dr. Fred Azar said.
Doctors Fred Azar and Jeffrey Sawyer said if you have injuries like a fall, sprain, or a broken bone, go to an orthopedic clinic, like Campbell Clinic, instead of the emergency room.
“Most of the injuries seen in an emergency room are triaged to orthopedic surgeon anyway,” Dr. Azar said. “So those are the ones we can take that are not emergent but semi emergent.”
Doctors at Campbell Clinic are working to give hospitals space during this pandemic by routing patients who would already be sent to them directly to them. The clinic on Wolf River in Germantown is open until 8 p.m. and there are others across the Mid-South.
Doctors are looking to free up more hospital beds for potential COVID-19 patients.
“More testing is being done and we expect more cases of COVID-19,” Dr. Azar said. “They’re poised for that. So, our job is to stand by here for those non-emergency injuries.”
Every patient and visitor who comes into Campbell Clinic is screened and their temperature is taken. Chronic orthopedic patients are being taken on a case by case basis.
“Certainly patients who are having problems orthopedically we can evaluate them, treat them here,” Dr. Jeffrey Sawyer said. “We also offer telemedicine.”
Staff at Campbell Clinic are trying to free up masks for hospitals as well. They recently got a donation of 600 reusable masks from the group We Can Do It Masks. So now the one-time masks, which are in short supply, can be used in the needed emergency situations.