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Wheeling Hospital Ready for Emergency

September 30, 2013
By JOSELYN KING - Staff Writer , The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register

WHEELING - Health care providers at Wheeling Hospital hope they never need them, but the hospital's Emergency/Trauma Center is equipped with amenities for use in the event of a major local catastrophe.

The facility also is designed to save doctors and nurses minutes and seconds when caring for patient, and this ultimately saves lives, according to emergency room nurse manager Jill Tomassetti.

Among the noted features are an operating room and cardiac catheterization lab close to the private emergency and trauma rooms where patients are treated.

Article Photos

Radiologist Lauren Huggins assists a patient with a CAT scan at Wheeling Hospital’s Emergency/Trauma Center.

Photo by Joselyn King

There are five decontamination showers at the back entrance to the facility for use if needed following an emergency.

And one also can't help but notice the hallways are wider in the Emergency/Trauma Center. Gurneys and beds can be placed along the walls there if additional space is necessary during a disaster, and oxygen hook-ups have been installed along these walls for their potential use.

Wheeling Hospital's Emergency/Trauma Center opened on April 17, 2012. At 23,000 square feet, it provides more than three times the space than the hospital's prior emergency area.

"It's much more convenient," Tomassetti said. "The supplies are more readily available, and the workflow is easier to accomplish.

"It's not just a state-of-the-art facility. The doctors and extenders are always striving for high quality care and customer service."

Wheeling Hospital is on track for a record-setting year in its Emergency/Trauma Center, noted hospital spokesman Gregg Warren. The facility treats about 140 patients a day, compared to about 120 in its former emergency room.

The number of patient care rooms has increased from 27 to 34, and four of the rooms are trauma care rooms, Warren and Tomassetti noted.

Tomassetti said chest pains is the ailment most often seen in the emergency room, though these are not always indicative of a heart attack. She added people come to the emergency room with most all inflictions - both serious and more routine.

"That's common with all emergency rooms," Warren added. "We always want the E-R to be in service for emergencies, but there are patients without a family practitioner. The E-R is their primary source of medical care."

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