Maine hospital suspends pediatric, trauma admissions

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Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston has temporarily suspended admissions of pediatric and trauma patients amid acute nursing staffing shortages in key areas, according to a hospital statement shared with Becker's Oct. 12.

"The highest priority of CMMC is providing safe care for our communities. In order to meet that commitment, CMMC is curtailing these services in response to unprecedented healthcare workforce shortages," said spokesperson Ann Kim.

Central Maine Medical Center will re-evaluate the temporary suspension of trauma inpatient admissions at least every 24 hours. The temporary suspension of pediatric inpatient admissions is effective until further notice.

As of Oct. 11, the hospital had also temporarily suspended heart attack admissions, although the suspension was lifted as of Oct. 12.

"We expect that the situation will remain fluid as we manage staffing to demand," Ms. Kim said.

She said pediatric and trauma patients who visit the hospital's emergency department will be screened, evaluated appropriately, stabilized and, if needed, transferred to another facility.  

Central Maine Medical Center has also notified state officials that it will close its neonatal intensive care unit Oct. 25, changing its status from a Level 2 nursery for babies under 35 weeks of gestation to a Level 1 nursery for babies above 35 weeks of gestation. 

This action is being taken because of staff resignations over the state's COVID-19 vaccination mandate.

"Like many healthcare organizations across the country and the state, Central Maine Medical Center will continue to monitor the constantly evolving workforce situation and make adjustments in order to provide safe and compassionate care to the communities in which we serve," Ms. Kim said.

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