Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Local News

September 14, 2013

BRMC to add services for better health care

BLUEFIELD — A local hospital has received state approval to create a diagnostic facility capable of accommodating a greater range of patients.

Bluefield Regional Medical Center has received a certificate of need that will allow the facility to add magnetic imaging resonance services, the West Virginia Health Care Authority announced this week.

“On certain projects that are costly, and these machines are usually very expensive, state code requires them to prove there is no duplications and there is a need for this type of machine,” James L. Pitrolo, Jr., chairman of the West Virginia Health Care Authority, told the Bluefield Daily Telegraph.

The project’s cost is $3.3 million, Pitrolo said.

“They have shown this will be more cost effective than a mobile unit,” he stated.

Bluefield Regional now uses a mobile unit to provide magnetic imaging resonance services, but this machine could accommodate only patients up to a certain size. The new facility at BRMC will be a “wide bore” machine, which accommodates larger patients, he said. Patients being scanned are rolled inside the machine.

“If you were a football player with very wide shoulders, you would need this,” Pitrolo said.

In mid-June, the hospital received a certificate of need for the creation of two new critical care units. One will be an intensive care unit and the other facility will be a coronary care unit. Both the new facilities, now scheduled for completion in the spring of 2014, will be on the hospital’s fourth floor.

The cost of the new intensive care and coronary care units is $5.1 million, hospital officials said when the project was announced.

BRMC officials were unavailable Friday for additional comment.

— Contact Greg Jordan at gjordan@bdtonline.com

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