Rural North Carolina hospital to temporarily close ICU, cites nurse shortage

Williamston, N.C.-based Martin General Hospital said it will close its intensive care unit temporarily on Aug. 1, WITN, an NBC affiliate, reported July 12. 

The hospital said nursing staff shortages are the primary reason for closure. 

"Like many rural hospitals across the nation, our hospital has struggled to recruit nurses despite ongoing efforts," John Jacobson, Martin General Hospital CEO, said. "The critical shortage levels are even more challenging in rural areas."

While Martin General's ICU is closed, the hospital will refer patients requiring intensive care to nearby ECU Health Medical Center in Greenville, N.C. The hospital has additional connections with University of North Carolina, Duke University Hospital and WakeMed. 

The hospital's emergency department and medical/surgical unit will stay open and fully operational. 

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