Mississippi’s only burn center will close Oct. 14, hospital officials said Thursday.
The JMS Burn and Reconstruction Center, located at Merit Health Central in South Jackson, includes 13 burn intensive care patient rooms, 20 burn step down unit patient rooms and a 12-room outpatient clinic. The center cares for both adult and pediatric burn patients on an inpatient and outpatient basis.
After Oct. 14, burn patients will be redirected to Doctors Hospital in Augusta, Georgia, Firefighters Burn Center - Regional One Health in Memphis, Tennessee or USA Health in Mobile, Alabama, the Clarion Ledger reported.
"The complex medical needs of burn patients require support from a broad range of specialists — ones you typically associate with burn programs, such as plastic surgery, and others you may not typically think of, like gastroenterology, ophthalmology, and urology," according to a hospital statement. "The COVID-19 pandemic and the challenging staffing and recruitment environment have made it increasingly difficult for us to recruit the breadth of specialists needed to maintain the burn program, which is the primary reason why we’ve made the difficult decision to close."
The hospital said the Burn & Hand Rehabilitative Services Clinic will continue to provide care to those current patients until they are transitioned to other appropriate physician practices," the hospital said.
The hospital said it has been in discussions with other regional providers to explore the possibility of them establishing a burn program.
"We are grateful to have been able to meet the burn and reconstructive needs of patients from our state and from across the region for the past 14 years," the hospital said.