"Frightening" is how CEO Barb Lay of Minnie Hamilton Health Care Center
described the downgrading of Charleston Area Medical Center's trauma
The center has been used by most rural health facilities in the region for
The situation is even worse than reported yesterday. CAMC's unit has been
downgraded from a Level I center to a Level 3, mostly because there are not
enough orthopedic surgeons to handle the high volume of cases around the
About 1,000 high-risk trauma cases have been treated every year at the
Charleston Center, many of them life-flighted to the center from West
Virginia's rural counties.
Barb Lay said yesterday the large hospital's are now experiencing the same
problems small rural hospitals have been facing. Access and timelines are
"This is a cataclysmic event," said CAMC's chief operating officer Dr. Glenn
Crotty. "This is one of those defining moments in health care in our
community. It is a step back."
Some trauma cases, after 8 a.m. Tuesday, will be shifted to Huntington,
although they do not have Trauma Center certification, or to WVU Hospital in
Morgantown, or facilities in Pittsburgh or Lexington.
Dr. Robert D'Alessandri at WVU said "We are at capacity four to six days a