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State Orders Halt to Patients

Feb 28, 2002 | AP

State health authorities ordered a hospital to stop accepting patients after inspectors found unsanitary conditions and inadequate nursing care, officials said Wednesday.

The 140-bed Memorial Hospital of Salem County can keep its emergency room open and perform emergency surgeries, state officials said. Also, patients already in the hospital will still be cared for.

"If it's any other procedure you'd have to go elsewhere," Health Department spokesman Dennis McGowan said.

The state said annual inspections found the hospital's infection control was inadequate, and supplies and operating room equipment weren't sterilized.

Also, a substantial number of patients lacked proper nursing care and had bed sores, while drug prescriptions were incomplete and illegible.

The hospital has begun fixing the deficiencies, said hospital president and CEO Denise R. Williams.

The state did not immediately know how many patients were still being treated at the hospital, which employs about 680 people

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