ICU unit opens at Claxton hospital

Published: Jul. 31, 2023 at 5:06 PM EDT|Updated: Jul. 31, 2023 at 6:01 PM EDT
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CLAXTON, Ga. (WTOC) - Rural hospitals face challenges these days to stay open.

In Claxton, they’re adding a service you usually find in metro hospitals. Hospital leaders say this new ICU helps them serve patients and the community in those times when minutes count.

Back in the spring, WTOC showed you how they’d taken space initially meant for overflow patients and gutted it to build an ICU. The hospital was one of only ten in Georgia to receive a grant of almost $1 million for healthcare in rural areas where a long ambulance ride to the big city won’t help.

“We hear about ‘the golden hour’ when it comes to trauma. But there are other issues besides trauma that require quick attention and quick medicine,” said Bill Lee, with Evans Memorial.

That can include cardiac emergencies like a heart attack or stroke. The four-bed unit will also have cameras and monitors for telemedicine with Augusta University doctors as well.

“Within about 15 seconds, we can log on and request a consult and be able to have them see the room, read the monitors and help our hospitalists,” Lee said.

He said services like this help save local patients and that makes the community better.