Massillon

8th St. entrance, Affinity Medical Center
Affinity Medical Center website

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A judge's decison has put, at least for now, a hold on plans to wind down operations at Massillon’s Affinity Medical Center. However, if western Stark County’s only hospital does shut down, EMS services for the area are expected to be impacted.

Time is the issue, says Massillon Fire Chief Tom Burgasser. Taking critical patients to the ‘next nearest’ emergency rooms -- in Canton can add 10 to 20 minutes to getting them to needed help.  And, he says, that’s especially a problem for cardiac cases.

Affinity Web Site
AFFINITY

Massillon asked a Stark County judge today to delay the closing of Affinity Medical Center for four months.  

Ideas for legal options to keep Affinity open have been circulating since the hospital’s owner, Quorum Health, announced plans Jan. 5th to close it.

It plans to cease clinical operations Feb. 4 and close Affinity entirely a month later.

Central fire station, Massillon, OH
City of Massillon website

As hospitals in Northeast Ohio and across the country continue monitoring problems in the supply chain of I-V needles, bags and pre-packaged fluids, EMS operators are growing concerned, too. 

When Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico, it hit three manufacturing plants of the world’s biggest IV equipment provider.  Those are back on line but supply levels won’t likely recover until Spring.

In Massillon, the fire department EMS has a three-month IV reserve. Chief Tom Burgasser says they have backup plans, too.

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