Med-surg unit shut down at Clarksburg VA hospital after patient safety review

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The medical-surgical unit at Clarksburg, W.Va.-based Louis A. Johnson VA Medical Center has been shut down following an assessment of patient safety records, officials said Oct. 13, according to ABC affiliate WBOY-TV.

During a daily review of patient safety reports Oct. 8, the VA leadership team found two "concerning" reports related to patient care, according to a statement from the VA cited by WBOY-TV. Based on those concerns, officials have reassigned all 32 members of the unit's nursing staff from clinical care, pending an investigation. The external investigation, along with an investigation by the Veterans Administration's Office of Inspector General, will further review care on the med-surg unit, known as the 3AM unit.

Patients on the 3AM unit have either been discharged, moved to other units or transferred to other VA centers, officials said. VAMC leaders are working to find replacement staff, but until then, the unit will remain closed, officials told WBOY-TV.

Other units at the center are still open, and veterans who need "medical care admission will be transferred to local community partners or other VA medical centers to meet their needs at VA expense," the statement reads.

The unit has been "closely monitored" since January 2021, hospital officials said, and the center is "committed to ensuring that care provided to all veterans is handled safely and at the highest level possible."

In May 2021, former employee Reta Mays was sentenced to seven life sentences after pleading guilty to charges related to the deaths of eight Clarksburg VAMC patients. Ms. Mays admitted to administering insulin to several patients with the intent to cause their deaths, though nursing assistants at the facility aren't authorized to administer medication.

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