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News Release

   PO 360
   Trenton, NJ 08625-0360

   For Release:
   February 27, 2002


Clifton R. Lacy, M.D.
Acting Commissioner

For Further Information Contact:
Laura Otterbourg or Dennis McGowan

Admissions Curtailed at Memorial Hospital of Salem County

TRENTON - The New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services today halted all admissions to Memorial Hospital of Salem County until further notice. This action was taken as a result of deficiencies discovered during department inspections over the past two weeks.

The curtailment includes a prohibition on performing all non-emergency surgical procedures on inpatients as well as outpatients.

Memorial Hospital's emergency room will remain open, but no patients will be admitted from the emergency department into the hospital. All emergency department patients needing continuing care will be transferred to other hospitals. The hospital may continue diagnostic laboratory and radiology procedures on inpatients and outpatients.

The curtailment is based on the findings of a biennial survey conducted by department staff from February 19 to 21, and a revisit survey conducted on February 26, 2002. These inspections found significant violations of licensure standards in the areas of nursing care, infection control, patient care services, and pharmacy.

The department's Office of Emergency Management has contacted the Underwood Mobile Intensive Care Unit (MICU), West Jersey MICU, and the dispatch centers in Cumberland, Salem and Gloucester counties to inform them of Memorial Hospital of Salem County's status. The department also notified other area hospitals, specifically South Jersey Hospital-Bridgeton, South Jersey Hospital-Elmer, Underwood Memorial Hospital in Woodbury, and Christiana Hospital in Delaware, of a possible redirection of patients from Salem County.

The curtailment imposed today on Memorial Hospital of Salem County will be lifted when the hospital is able to demonstrate to the department's satisfaction that the deficiencies have been substantially corrected.

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Department of Health and Senior Services
P. O. Box 360
Trenton, NJ 08625-0360

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