Knoxville-Area Hospital Statistics in 1954

Maps Help … “More To It”

by Carson Brewer, Knoxville Journal, May 22, 1955 [page not indicated on clipping]

Maybe you think a hospital’s only business is to provide a place for sick people to be operated on, and beds for them to lie down on till they get well.

In a limited sense that’s true.  But to do those things some of the hospitals have to do more laundry than some regular laundry places do.  And they serve more meals than do most restaurants.

You want some proof?

Well, here are combined statistics from eight area hospitals – General, Baptist, Presbyterian (formerly Fort Sanders), St. Mary’s, East Tennessee Crippled Children’s Hospital, East Tennessee Tuberculosis Hospital, Oak Ridge Hospital, and Blount Memorial Hospital at Maryville.

These eight did 4,819, 695 pounds of laundry last year.  They served 2,531,556 meals, a lot of which weren’t ordinary ones.  A hospital kitchen must be able to whip up meals to fit every kind of diet a doctor can prescribe.  Instead of using a pinch of this and a pinch of that, the cooks sometimes have to measure in grams.  I doubt the figure on the number of meals included bottles for any of the 8808 babies born in the hospitals during the year.

Had 56,667 Patients

The eight hospitals admitted 56,677 [sic] patients who stayed hospitalized an average of 22.7 days each.  (That average doesn’t include patients at the Tuberculosis Hospital, where they stay hospitalized a lot longer.)

On part of those 56,000-plus patients the doctors did 25,331 operations, and the hospital pharmacies compounded 474,593 prescriptions, while the laboratories were doing 503,516 tests.  To take cure [sic] of the patients, the hospitals had 2373 employes [sic] on payrolls totaling $4,196,578.20.  They bought $3,013,519.22 worth of supplies and equipment.

The eight have a total of 1614 beds, and their average number of patients per day was 1248.  But don’t let that combination lead you to think there were always 366 empty beds.  On peak days there may have been almost no empties.

All those statistics come from Knoxville Hospital Council.

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