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  1. Health

Moratorium lifted at Town and Country Hospital

TAMPA — Town & Country Hospital is accepting new surgical patients after state health care officials on Friday lifted an order barring admissions to the facility's surgical units.

The Agency for Health Care Administration, which issued the order on Oct. 31, reinspected the hospital on Friday and found the concerns that triggered its action addressed. The measure, which affected only new patients, was lifted the same day.

An agency investigation last month found that Town & Country Hospital failed to staff the surgical unit with enough registered nurses and left too many duties to licensed practical nurses, who lack the training and skills of registered nurses.

Three patients died in the surgical unit last month. The state didn't say the deaths could have been prevented had there been more nurses on duty, but the report did note issues with their care.

The restrictions did not affect other areas of the hospital, including the emergency room, behavioral health unit and intensive care unit.

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