Weaverville, North Carolina - Authorities say two students ended up in the hospital and three others became ill after taking large amounts of cough medicine at a North Carolina high school.
A the Buncombe County Sheriff's Office report says other students told teachers about the ill students at North Buncombe High School.
The report was obtained by the Asheville Citizen-Times .
The mother of a 15-year-old told the newspaper that her son took 16 times the recommended dose of Coricidin HBP Cough and Cold pills, collapsed and suffered hallucinations during two days in the hospital.
The students were disciplined, but school officials say privacy rules prevent them from saying how they were punished.
The report didn't give details about the second student hospitalized.
MORGANTOWN — To obtain quality health care, one must leave West Virginia — that’s a perception leaders of WVU Medicine say they’re working to reverse.
“Estimates are that someday there’ll be around 150 health-care centers around the country, kind of the way you see banks and airlines consolidate,” said Albert Wright, president and CEO of WVU Medicine. “Our job is to make sure we’re one of those 150.”
Wright said the Mountain State’s patients often leave to seek care in Pittsburgh, Cincinnati or Washington, D.C., but most would prefer to stay closer to home, and WVU Medicine is working to provide that service.
The institution, he said, is performing better and is busier than ever, and more people are catching on to this.
At J.W. Ruby Memorial Hospital, the hub of WVU Medicine, Wright said its 645 beds are occupied. He noted that as many as 13 HealthNet helicopters come and go at the hospital within the space of about 90 minutes.
Recently, WVU Medicine announced the planned expansion of its children’s hospital via construction of a new 10-story tower on the campus of Ruby Memorial Hospital that will add 150 more beds, along with operating rooms and other dedicated space.
The new tower will cost $152 million and is expected to open in the fall or early winter of 2018.
When WVU Medicine Children’s leaves its current space, Wright said he anticipates it will be used by the institution’s neuroscience program.
Dr. J. Philip Saul, executive vice president of WVU Medicine Children’s, said the children’s hospital does great work and now it needs a facility that matches the quality of its care — to move out from being a hospital within a hospital.
He said that is especially important in view of the new talent WVU Medicine is recruiting, such as pediatric urologist Michael Ost, who came to Morgantown from Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC.
“He’s a robotic surgeon,” Saul said. “We need a facility to match his skill set.”
Saul said WVU Medicine’s goal is to spread services to other health-care facilities throughout the state.
Since setting up a network of Ruby Memorial Hospitals around West Virginia is impractical, WVU Medicine is forming partnerships with places such as Charleston Area Medical Center or Raleigh General Hospital, among others, so patients can get the treatment they need without leaving the state or traveling to Morgantown.
“We can’t do this all alone because there’s a lot in the state that’s not here,” Saul said.
Wright said telehealth clinics will play a role, as well, meaning that some patients won’t have to leave home to be diagnosed and treated.
At the same time, Wright said ambulatory visits to Ruby’s main campus are going down because not every issue requires a trip there. Instead, they’re going to outpatient facilities throughout Monongalia County.
Wright said the leadership of WVU President E. Gordon Gee and Dr. Clay Marsh, WVU vice president and executive dean for health sciences, at the university’s health sciences campus has helped push these changes forward.
Just as important, however, is the unity with which WVU Medicine is moving forward. Wright said many efforts of academic medical institutions are hampered by division or ego, but that is not the case in Morgantown.
Even with the addition of new talent, expanding programs and anticipated building projects, Wright said WVU Medicine is only in the beginning phases of its transformation.
He said fans watching a WVU football game at Mountaineer Field can peer over from the stadium to see what is essentially one big general hospital. Five years from now, he wants those same fans to see a cluster of specialized institutions.
“I think we’re only 25 percent there,” Wright said. “People find it hard to imagine we’re only part of the way there.”