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Health

Wesley To Expand, Remodel Pediatric ER

wesley_childrens_hospital.jpg
Courtesy Wesley Medical Center
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Wesley’s Children’s Hospital is about to begin a year-long project to expand its emergency room.

The $2 million expansion will add four private beds, bringing the total to 14. The pediatric ER will also be remodeled to reflect the new look of the main Wesley Children’s Hospital, which unveiled its own renovation last year.

Ashley Lunkenheimer, associate director of the emergency department, says the pediatric ER has seen 30 percent growth 2013.

"With the expansion of the children's hospital that we built here within Wesley we've seen just a dramatic incline in the number of pediatric patients that we see through our ER," she said. "Knowing how quickly we've grown, we knew it was time for an expansion. ... Just having that extra room would make all the difference in allowing patients to come back quicker than ever.”

Each ER bed sees an industry-standard average of 2,000 beds per year, which likely won't change with the expansion, Lunkenheimer says. However, she says the expansion could cut wait time almost in half.

"Right now we average about 9 minutes from the time the patient walks in to the time they see a doctor. We’re hopeful to decrease that down to 5 with the expansion of the four rooms," Lunkenheimer says.

Construction will start later this summer or early fall. Lunkenheimer says it won’t affect services.

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Follow Nadya Faulx on Twitter @NadyaFaulx.

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