West Virginia hospital to double ICU capacity

Thomas Memorial Hospital in South Charleston, W.Va., plans to expand its number of intensive care unit beds from 16 to 27 in 2023. 

The expansion will enable more patients in the region to access critical care closer to home, hospital leaders told CBS affiliate WOWK

"This means that should you need critical care, you should be able to receive it here without having to be transferred anywhere," said Jennie Kahn, RN, chief nursing officer and vice president for Thomas Health, part of Morgantown, W.Va.-based WVU Medicine. 

"It is a very stressful time in the first place. You have to hold [patients] in the emergency room until you can find somewhere to accept them," she said, adding there have been times when the hospital has sent patients to Kentucky and North Carolina. "Hopefully with this expansion, that will no longer be needed." 

Thomas Memorial hospital is also expanding its ICU step-down unit from 11 beds to 28, a project slated to be completed in 2024. The hospital is already reviewing sign-on bonuses and other ways to attract more physicians, nurses and other staff members who will be needed once the expansions are complete, leaders told WOWK

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