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Burn Intensive Care Unit Expansion
July 19, 2013

Eyewitness News Reporter Darrah Wilcox It's hard for Gary Rudolph to talk about the industrial accident that happened last October in Roane County. "I wouldn't wish it on anybody because it's quite devastating to the body what it does," he said.

Rudolph was airlifted to the Burn Intensive Care Unit at Cabell Huntington Hospital. "I spent the first 17 in a medically-induced coma," he recalled.

He spent a total of 41 days there, going through three surgeries. He's had two more since. Gary is one of 350 burn patients treated at the BICU, where the average stay is two weeks.

"The burn population that we serve is very large for our area," Cabell Huntington Adult critical care nurse manager Scott Williams said.

It's the only burn unit in West Virginia and also serves parts of Kentucky, Ohio and Virginia. Earlier this month, Cabell Huntington unveiled a new and improved BICU. They've added two beds and doubled the amount of space.

"We're able to offer an expanded service that allows these patients and their families to have better access to their families," Williams said.

That also means hiring more staff to care for those delicate burn injuries. While it's been long and difficult recovery, Rudolph said it's the care he got here that's saved his life.

"They're so compassionate. they're so loving and caring," he said. "They want to make sure that they're doing everything they can to make you as comfortable as possible for such a tragic situation."

Copyright ©2013 WCHS-TV Eyewitness News. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


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