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HomeNewsPrivate spinal cord injury room available for VA patients

Private spinal cord injury room available for VA patients

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Veterans who have suffered a spinal cord injury now have a facility in which they can recuperate comfortably and conveniently during a hospital stay at the Veterans Administration Medical Center in Beckley.

“We took a ward with four beds and made it into an in-patient room with every possible convenience for a person with a spinal cord injury,” said Janie Flanagan, SCI coordinator. “There is no obstacle to keep them from getting around in the room, even if they have a large power chair.”

The spacious private room is equipped with automatic doors leading into it and includes a private bathroom, which is handicapped-accessible. There is a floor-level shower and automatic sinks and commode.

An airflow mattress on the bed prevents pressure sores and Skin Breakdown. A TV in the wall can easily come right in front of the patient.

“Everything is user-friendly,” Flanagan said. “Everything is automatic and operates with touch button ease. Everything is state-of-the-art and provides the very best comfort and convenience we could provide.”

The West Virginia Division of Tourism sent a CD with permission to download any of a number of beautiful scenic spots.

Flanagan chose several, had them enlarged and framed and had them placed on the walls of the room.

“Our veterans can enjoy a scene from every season of the year and have a sense of the beauty of the outdoors,” she said.

There is also a patient education display available for reading materials.

Nearly 38,000 veterans live in the 12-county area served by the Beckley VAMC, Flanagan said.

There has been an increase in the number of patients with spinal cord injuries, and that trend may continue as a result of the conflict in the Middle East.

Patients with Multiple Sclerosis can also benefit from the new SCI accommodations, Flanagan said.

“MS is a neurological disorder that impairs the ability to function. Patients with MS will also be able to use this room,” Flanagan said.

Bev Davis Register-Herald Senior Editor

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