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Crossgates approved for burn center

BRANDON — Crossgates River Oaks Hospital has received state approval to create a burn unit on its Brandon campus.

The state Department of Health announced yesterday it has granted the hospital a certificate of need for the 15-bed center.

The state hasn’t had a dedicated burn center since the Greenville Burn Center closed in 2005.

River Oaks plans to renovate 8,344 square feet of existing space to provide a five bed intensive care unit, a 10-bed patient care unit and two new operating rooms. The project will cost about $6 million.

The hospital plans to hire the equivalent of five full-time personnel.

“With the approval of the certificate of need, Crossgates River Oaks Hospital will enhance its burn center by providing a dedicated section of the hospital, which will be completely renovated and newly equipped, for the specialized care of burn patients,” hospital CEO J. Allen Tyra said in a prepared statement.

The hospital has been offering burn care services to patients since the summer of 2009 under an affiliation with the Joseph M. Still Burn Center located in Augusta, Ga. That care has focused on initial treatment and follow-up care, including wound dressing changes and skin grafts.

The new burn center will allow the hospital to provide more complex burn care services within the state.

In its application to the Health Department, River Oaks said it recognized there was a need for the burn care in the state in 2008. That year it began operating an outpatient burn clinic. Within a year, the clinic was averaging between 30-35 patients per day.

Without seeking state approval, the hospital said it would be limited to treating lower level burn victims and more serious patients would continue to be transferred out of state.

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