NIH admits a dozen critically ill despite shutdown

October 9, 2013 by Lauran Neergaard

The government's partial shutdown has halted most enrollment into research studies at the National Institutes of Health's famed hospital. But some desperately ill patients have managed to get in.

Normally, about 200 new a week enroll in studies at the NIH's research-only , often referred to as the "house of hope" because so many of those people have failed standard treatments. During the shutdown, the NIH furloughed so many employees that it said it could admit new patients only in crisis cases, when someone's illness was imminently life-threatening and the intended study offered some hope of improvement.

Agency spokeswoman Renate Myles said that from Oct. 1 through Tuesday, 12 patients were enrolled in studies at the NIH Clinical Center. Most had cancer.

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