|Bucks County’s only dedicated emergency care center now offers pediatric triage, separate reception area, and additional private treatment areas 24/7.
LANGHORNE, Pa., October 21, 2013 – St. Mary Medical Center has completed the third and final phase of expansion for its Emergency Department and Trauma Center begun in 2011. A blessing ceremony to celebrate the opening of the Bristol-Myers Squibb Pediatric Emergency Care Center will be held on Tuesday, October 22, at 9 a.m.
The final phase completes the pediatric expansion and includes 11 private treatment rooms, a pediatric triage area, separate reception areas for potentially infectious and noninfectious conditions, and a specially equipped pediatric resuscitation room, all designed to meet the specific emergency care needs of children and their families.
The pediatric critical care/trauma resuscitation room is the size of a regular trauma bay and is equipped with all the supplies needed to provide critical care. This unique resuscitation room has immediate access to diagnostic services, a sterile room environment, and a Nitrous Oxide supply line built into the wall unit.
These new pediatric emergency care features add to enhancements begun in July 2011 in the new addition, renamed the “Bristol-Myers Squibb Pediatric Emergency Care Center at St. Mary Medical Center,” in recognition of a $2 million grant from the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation. “These enhancements benefit our youngest patients and their families, while offering our specially-trained team of physicians and nurses a work environment maximized for the tasks of taking care of children,” says Dr. Gary Zimmer, Medical Director of Emergency Services.
All phases of the Emergency Pediatric Care Unit have been designed to reduce stress and soothe children and parents. Features include a comfortable waiting room with child-friendly entertainment and décor, private rooms with walls instead of curtains, and dedicated physicians and staff experienced in pediatric care.
When Denise Keegan of Huntingdon Valley had an emergency with her seven-year-old son over the summer, the Bristol-Myers Squibb Pediatric Emergency Care Center at St. Mary was a quick and attentive resource she depended on.
Keegan’s son, Carter, had cut his leg on the corner of a table at a restaurant in Southampton. As a nurse, Keegan knew how to handle the situation from a medical perspective, yet emotionally it was difficult. “I wrapped his leg to stop the bleeding and tried to stay calm for Carter. But it was hard to see him so hysterical and not be able to do anything.”
The paramedics took Carter to St. Mary Medical Center and Keegan followed with her 10-year-old daughter. When they arrived, Carter was immediately seen by a team of experts – his physician, nurse and tech evaluated him and worked quickly to ease his discomfort. He received 19 stitches and the one-hour procedure was done using Nitrous Oxide to alleviate pain and stress.
According to Keegan, it worked wonders. “Carter was completely calm. He was high-fiving Dr. Dienna, telling jokes, and by the time we left I felt completely at ease.”
In addition to being one of the first 24/7 pediatric emergency care centers in the area, St. Mary is the only one in the region to implement the use of nitrous oxide (N2O) in treating children. The practice of providing light sedation of N2O is a safe and effective way to reduce the pain and anxiety children and parents face in stressful situations such as administering stitches, mending lacerations, or helping with broken bones. Nitrous Oxide is very fast acting, with virtually no side effects.
In addition to Carter’s painless emergency visit, Keegan was also pleased with the way her whole family was treated. “The staff really seemed to care about us and did everything they could to keep us calm. Our nurse, Joan, spent time with my daughter to keep her occupied and we were so thankful to have been treated with such compassion.”
Now, Carter is healed and back to normal, playing sports and competing in Karate. Keegan said he talks about Dr. Dienna and the team at St. Mary often.
“Everyone who took care of Carter is such a hero to him.” Keegan said, “I am so glad we chose St. Mary when we needed emergency care, because it is the only hospital that offers this benefit to patients and Carter was able to be treated without having a traumatic experience.”
The St. Mary Emergency Department, expected to treat 17,000 patients this year, has made several enhancements to benefit patients since the $22 million expansion kicked off in 2011. One major highlight of the expansion is Split Flow, a new process designed to manage high patient volume. This new process separates patients by the acuteness of their conditions and allows for them to be treated by healthcare providers as quickly as possible, helping to eliminate long wait times. Additional improvements from earlier phases of the expansion include a new entrance with traffic-flow improvements, redesigned lobby, new reception with three triage areas, new private patient rooms with more amenities and medical equipment, and a 3-bed expansion of the Expedited Treatment Area.
St. Mary has the only state accredited Trauma Center in Bucks County and has full access to a wide range of highly advanced diagnostic services. It is one of 31 regional trauma centers to meet the tough standards required for accreditation in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania by the Pennsylvania Trauma Systems Foundations (PTSF). The Trauma Center includes state-of-the-art trauma bays. Trauma patients are given priority admission and immediate access to full services, including OR and CAT scan.
In addition to providing trauma services, St. Mary is also committed to trauma prevention and offers a number of programs in the community in partnership with Bucks County SAFE KIDS. Led by the St. Mary Regional Trauma Center, SAFE KIDS helps prevent accidental child injury and provides programs and education specific to the injury risk factors among Bucks County children. Examples include classes on child passenger safety, home safety, bicycle and sports safety, poison prevention, and more.
With this Emergency Department and Trauma Center expansion, St. Mary continues to demonstrate its commitment to meeting the growing healthcare needs of our community.