Hospital wants to expand ER

Published 08/15 2012 06:10PM

Updated 08/15 2012 06:42PM

Update: 5:01 pm
URBANA -- Sometimes the Carle Hospital E.R. is so busy, it has to treat patients in the hallway. Carle says every year, tens of thousands show up at its emergency room, and that number keeps growing. It's why the hospital wants to expand. WCIA-3's Jessica Shaw finds out what the hospital hopes to do to address the issue.

Carle administrators say 70,000 people will be treated at its E.R. this year. That means, every single day, about 200-people will walk through the doors with some sort of emergency.

Carle officials say a substantial majority of those patients are older. Since the baby boomer generation is aging, Carle says it needs to expand. These doors don't stay closed for long.

"It's a little bit of everything, little sick kids, people who fall and break their hips, people with chest pains, people with strokes, and people with a sprained ankle."

By the end of 2012, Carle's emergency room will have treated about 70,000 people.

"We work harder, faster and more efficiently. What we've done is literally put people in hallway beds because we fell it's better to have people seen than have them waiting 2, 3 or 4 hours."

And there will be more coming.

"You've got this huge bulge of baby boomers coming into the healthcare system who typically use more healthcare. Older people get sicker."

That's why Carle wants to expand its emergency department now. It wants to add 17-more beds, another trauma room, more equipment and more manpower.

"We're gradually ramping up. We've added nurses and are looking for more physicians."

The hospital is still waiting for the state to approve the expansion, but once that goes through, they'll be able to treat another 10,000 people a year.

"It will be nice to have real rooms instead of hallway beds. We certainly need them."

Carle expects an answer from the state in October. If approved, construction would start this fall, and would be completed by 2014.

Original: 3:10 pm

URBANA -- Carle Hospital is in need of more space. It says its current emergency department is not big enough.

It's waiting on approval from the state, but the plan is to expand where it is right now. It would mean another 17-beds, plus an additional trauma and safe room.

It's all stuff the administration says it needs. More and more people are being seen in the emergency room. Last year, about 180-people a day were treated. This year, that number is expected to increase to about 200-people.

Carle expects an answer from the state in October. If approved, construction would start this fall, and would be completed by 2014.

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