Work passes halfway mark at hospital

LAFAYETTE, La. (AP) — The $52.5 million expansion of Lafayette General Medical Center has passed its midway mark as crews begin to fill in the skeletal structure.

Walls now separate nurse stations from operating rooms. Sanitation stations are taking shape.

A hidden passageway that will allow on-call surgeons quick access from the new parking garage to the surgical suite is now visible.

An opening for a huge window provides a perfect view of the Santa Claus lights that decorate the hospital’s skywalk.

Project manager/designer Marie Lukaszeski told The Advertiser (http://bit.ly/1aPIFeX) the corridor will provide daylight for staff in the surgical department.

“This is what the staff is most excited about,” she said. “This corridor will be filled with glass and will have restricted access.”

The new public parking garage next to the Heymann Performing Arts Center and the expanded emergency department are expected to open in April 2014. That’s when renovation of the current emergency department will begin.

Surgeries in the new operating rooms will begin in June, and renovation of the current emergency department is expected to wrap up by October.

The expansion will add about 82,000 square feet to the hospital’s existing 505,902 square feet of usable space.

According to Daryl Cetnar, director of community relations the hospital sees 65,000 emergency room patients each year, or an average of 180 to 200 per day.

It is considered one of the busiest in Louisiana.

The projects are designed to increase efficiency in hospital’s emergency department by assigning emergency room patients based on their levels of trauma.

“By segregating the types of patients that way, I don’t have a doctor treating a high-trauma patient and a patient with a cold at the same time,” Lukaszeski said.

Additional features of the new emergency room area include a hazardous materials decontamination shower room and a new ambulance entrance that can curtain off and decontaminate a group of people at once.

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Information from: The Advertiser, http://www.theadvertiser.com

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