East Tennessee hospital closes burn unit

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) -- Erlanger Medical Center is closing its regional burn unit, saying it was unable to find a new director for the facility.

The Chattanooga hospital said in a statement that the center, which handled major burn cases from a wide area, lost the medical director in February when she left for a job in another state and was "unable to recruit a replacement."

The statement obtained by WRCB-TV said that after consulting with plastic surgeons serving the unit, Erlanger officials "have determined that closing our burn unit is in the best interests of major burn patients."

While the hospital will continue to serve burn patients, major cases will be transferred to the Joseph M. Still Burn Center in Augusta, Ga., or the Vanderbilt Burn Center in Nashville. Children will be sent to the Shriners Burns Hospital in Cincinnati.

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(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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