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Dave, glad you brought this up. We had a situation where a hospital in another county, across the river from Columbia, SC wished to open a Heart wing. The CON said it was not needed. The other two hospitals, one which specializes in heart care and the other which had just opened a new heart wing/building in the last 10 years would have none of it due to competition. They both fought the other hospital from opening its Heart Hospital, no holds barred. I joined in the fray. I live on the side of town with the two existing heart hospitals, but I had a friend many years ago, who succumbed due to the lack of knowledge at the hospital across the river. He was rushed to the hospital across the river, and was not properly diagnosed until he was airlifted to the Heart Hospital near me. He had an aneurysm in his stomach area, which had burst. He died, far before he should have. The MD's at the heart hospital on my side of town stated that he if had been taken directly there, he would more than likely be alive today. They knew the symptoms for that particular occurrence, whereas the ER in the other hospital did not.

I e-mailed the State Health Department (Department of Health and Environmental Control), attended hearings, etc. The request was turned down twice. FINALLY, after plugging along, that side of town now has a well-equipped Heart Hospital in association with Duke University, and is doing very well. The residents in that county now should find comfort in the fact that, if they have cardiac problems, they will be well taken care of.

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