By Kimberly Eiten

BALTIMORE (WJZ)– The doors are closed, and hospital staff and families in Baltimore County are looking for answers. They say the pediatric unit at MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center shut down suddenly.

Former staff members protested Tuesday. They say the closure could be life threatening for sick kids.

“The hospital is here to serve the community, and we don’t believe it’s doing that,” former pediatric faculty member Dr. Anna Reed said.

Until April, she worked at the hospital.

MedStar shuttered the department for inpatient pediatric care.

It sent WJZ a statement reading:

“In a model similar to many other hospital Emergency Departments around the country, MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center now has a single Emergency Department that treats both adults and children.”

Dr. Reed said that is a dangerous approach.

“It’s not the same,” Dr. Reed. “Children are not little adults.”

From the hospital campus to the courtroom, Baltimore County State’s Attorney Scott Shellenberger says he got no notice that the unit was closing.

“This is a huge blow for the prosecution of child abuse cases in Baltimore County,” Shellenberger said.

He says doctors at Franklin Square were key in child abuse cases, treating physical and mental injuries and acting as expert medical witnesses.

“What happens next month, when a trauma victim comes in that’s a child, and we believe it’s child abuse? What am I going to do then?” Shellenberger said.

All other pediatric services at MedStar Franklin Square are still in place.

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Kimberly Eiten

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