Blake Farmer

Courtesy of Sight Medical

 

Surgeons were already calling off some elective procedures as coronavirus patients threaten to stress hospitals in Tennessee. Now, surgeries deemed “non-essential” have been banned for nearly a month.

Gov. Bill Lee’s executive order was signed Monday. Most heart surgeries are exempt, so is cancer treatment. And of course, labor and delivery must go on.

Blake Farmer/WPLN News

 

More than 2,000 doctors and nurses have now signed a petition encouraging Tennessee Governor Bill Lee to follow the city of Nashville and order residents to stay in their homes.

On Sunday, Lee did restrict bars and restaurants to only offering takeout. He also closed gyms. But he has not closed non-essential businesses.

Country music icon Kenny Rogers, whose hits included "Lucille," "Lady" and "The Gambler," died late Friday at his home in Sandy Springs, Ga., his family said in a statement. He was 81.

The Houston-born country star had 20 No.-1 hits and three Grammys and performed for some 60 years before retiring from touring in 2017 at age 79, according to the Associated Press.

Rogers didn't write most of his hits and often said he didn't consider himself much of a songwriter. But he told NPR in 2012 that he had a knack for picking songs that could draw in the listener.

Masks, gloves and other equipment are crucial as health care workers face the COVID-19 outbreak. There is a strategic national stockpile that the U.S. government controls — but no one actually knows, beyond that stockpile, what's already out there in the private sector.

Some hospitals have extras, and some not enough. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is working on a system that would track the inventory across the U.S.

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Tornadoes ripped through Nashville, Tenn., and surrounding areas overnight. At least seven residents are confirmed dead, many more injured, and authorities are still trying to map out the full scope of the damage. Blake Farmer from our member station WPLN in Nashville joins us now. Blake, I understand you're out and about. Where exactly are you right now, and what are you seeing?

"I'm not anti-hospice at all," says Joy Johnston, a writer from Atlanta. "But I think people aren't prepared for all the effort that it takes to give someone a good death at home."

Babies born to mothers who used opioids during pregnancy represent one of the most distressing legacies of an opioid epidemic that has claimed almost 400,000 lives and ravaged communities.

In fact, many of the ongoing lawsuits filed against drug companies make reference to these babies, fighting through withdrawal in hospital nurseries.

Hospice care has a new face: Dementia now accounts for more Medicare spending on end-of-life services than any other disease. And a WPLN investigation finds that the patients with the longest stays tend to get the least help.

In 1998, major tobacco companies reached a historic legal settlement with states that had sued them over the health care costs of smoking-related illnesses. But individual smokers have continued to sue, and to this day the tobacco industry remains tied up in hundreds of court fights with sickened smokers, or with family members who lost a loved one to cancer, heart disease, or other smoking-related illness.

Copyright 2019 WPLN. To see more, visit WPLN.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Pages