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Central Maine Medical Center suspends pediatric, heart attack, trauma admissions

Central Maine Medical Center is dealing with a staffing shortage and is now diverting some patients after they are checked in the Emergency Department.
Central Maine Medical Center suspends pediatric, heart attack, trauma admissions
Central Maine Medical Center suspends pediatric, heart attack, trauma admissions
Published: Oct. 12, 2021 at 10:52 PM EDT
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LEWISTON, Maine (WMTW) - Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston is temporarily suspending admissions for certain patients.

Tuesday, Central Maine Health Care issued a statement clarifying the changes in care.

The hospital announced on Monday on its website that pediatric and trauma patients who arrive at the Emergency Department will be assessed and stabilized, but if they need to be admitted, they will be sent to another facility.

STEMI (heart attack) patients were originally on the list of those who were going to be diverted, but Tuesday’s statement changed that policy, now saying STEMI patients will be admitted.

The diversion plan for pediatric patients will be in place until further notice, whereas the situation for trauma patients will be re-evaluated every 24 hours.

Additionally, Central Maine Medical Center’s neo-natal ICU will close on October 25th.

In their statement, Central Maine Health Care blames the ongoing staffing shortage they are dealing with. As of Tuesday morning, their website showed 554 job postings within the network. That included 331 in Lewiston.

A spokesperson for the administrator of St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center, says the hospital, which is down the street from Central Maine Medical Center, is ready and able to accept any overflow patients.

In Augusta, Republican House lawmakers are blaming Governor Mills for the health system’s staffing shortages.

On Oct. 1, when Maine’s COVD-19 vaccination mandate for health care workers took effect, Central Maine Healthcare said 40 staff members had already resigned and 30 more had submitted their resignations. The state has said it will not enforce the mandate until the end of October.

In a statement released Tuesday, the Maine GOP writes, “Mills has been repeatedly warned by the Maine medical community that health care facilities will struggle and close based on her decisions, but instead she chose to boost her national profile with big Democrat donors.”

Governor Mills fired back with her own statement. “As Maine people continue to get sick and die, Republicans want to weaken a requirement that health care workers protect people in their care by getting vaccinated against COVID-19, the same way they have to get vaccinated against other infectious diseases.”

The Governor has directed Maine’s Department of Health and Human Services to work with CMMC and other hospitals in the area to make sure Central Maine residents have access to critical care.

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