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Magee-Womens Hospital Builds New Emergency Department

Patients rushing into Magee-Womens Hospital will be passing through the doors of a bigger and better emergency department starting Sunday.

According to Joe Suyama, Chief of Emergency Services, the new department will be located on Craft Avenue and will replace the existing emergency department on the other side of the building off Halket Street.

Suyama said the move will help them better serve an increasing volume of patients which has almost doubled since 2007.

“We’re just now meeting that growth need by building this emergency department,” Suyama said.

With 22 exam rooms, the new emergency department will be 50 percent bigger and provide more services.

Suyama said the new room for sexual assault patients, which was created in consultation with Pittsburgh Action Against Rape, was designed to provide privacy and comfort.

“The room itself does have a private bathroom, does have a shower, it does have things that were not available to the patients in the previous areas that we provided this examination,” Suyama said.  “So there’s some personal and comfort measures that we did for the room to make it a little better for our sexual assault patients.”

They also added a conference-style room for assault patients to gather with family or law enforcement if necessary.

The department will have an exam room with obstetric ultrasound equipment dedicated just for ER use -- one of the most needed services at Magee according to Suyama.

He said they have also added accommodations to increase safety among geriatric patients.

“They’re at higher risk for slips and falls so the entire department has flooring that is slip resistant,” Suyama said.  “We also have special stretchers that are lower than others so that it’s easier to get onto the stretcher without risk of fall or decreasing the risk of fall.”

The emergency department will also have wireless Internet and a break room for emergency medical service.

Magee has invited anyone who wants to tour the new emergency department to do so on Wednesday from 9 to 11 a.m., Thursday from 12 to 2 p.m. or 5 to 7 p.m. and Saturday from 11 to 1 p.m.