State hospital preparing for psychiatric casualties WAR IN THE GULF

January 28, 1991

A building at Crownsville Hospital Center that has been empty for several years is being put back into service to help treat soldiers from the Persian Gulf war who are suffering from psychiatric problems, state officials said yesterday.

The state hospital in Anne Arundel County was asked last week to join 30 other Maryland hospitals as backups to Walter Reed Army Hospital in suburban Washington for war-related casualties, said Helen Ladue, assistant superintendent of Crownsville. It is the only state hospital asked to participate so far.

The Maryland hospitals being asked to help Walter Reed and a host of Veterans Administration hospitals in the state would provide specialty services -- from care of burn victims to treatment of trauma patients -- if needed, said Dr. Ameen I. Ramzy, director of emergency medical services for the Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Services Systems, the state coordinating agency.

At Crownsville, the maintenance crew has been working around the clock repainting C Building, which housed an adult psychiatric unit until the hospital closed the building because of declining admissions, Ms. Ladue said. She said up to 60 beds would be available in the building.

"When this call came, it was quite an undertaking," Ms. Ladue said, but the staff was "very much in favor of doing this. They felt very patriotic."

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