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Critical Care Transport Unit at Sparrow Shutting Down

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Posted at 9:57 PM, Nov 29, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-29 21:57:35-05

A team of nurses that keeps patients alive when they move to Sparrow from other hospitals is shutting down.

Like most things in health care -- it's money.

The decision is going to leave Sparrow without a specially-trained team that's often responsible for moving seriously ill patients.

"My concern is being able to provide quality care to the patients in our community," said Joe Medgyessy, a critical care transport nurse at Sparrow. "I feel that with cuts, the quality of care that we're going to give patients is going to be affected."

Nurses are worried Sparrow's move to cut the critical care transport team puts patients in jeopardy.

Union leaders tell FOX 47 News they understand hospitals have to control costs, but they think this decision is too risky.

"It's always a balance between the business side of the hospital and the patient care side of the hospital," said Jeff Breslin, RN and president of the Professional Employees Council of Sparrow Hospital. "We can't lose sight of the patients for the sake of taking care of the business."

If you've ever been taken to the hospital by ambulance, you know how important critical care nurses are.

"We go along with the paramedics with additional medicines and supplies," said Medgyessy. "We're basically a specially trained set of hands and resources."

Critical care transport nurses are part of one of the busiest units at the hospital. When they're not transporting patients, they're required to help in the emergency room. In addition to their education at nursing school, critical care nurses are required to spend at least five more years in critical care and the ER.

"We know what we'd want for our family members, which is for them to have the best trained, highly qualified staff available in their time of need," said Medgyessy. "That's what I'd want for my family."

Sparrow released a statement on Thursday announcing the decision.

“Every day we must make informed and timely decisions on how best to allocate finite resources to meet the needs of our Patients. All of the full-time and part-time RNs impacted by these changes are guaranteed opportunities to maintain their current employment status within Sparrow Hospital.”