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Health, Science & Tech

Expanded ICU to Open at Forbes Regional Hospital

Chuck Balcik
Allegheny Health Network

Forbes Regional Hospital will open an expanded intensive care unit next week that will look more like a 21st century ICU than the current unit that was opened more than 40 years ago. The facility in Monroeville is an accredited Level II Trauma Center, and will be adding a 20-bed ICU.

“This is a mixed medical and surgical trauma intensive care unit,” said Michael Hansen, MD, medical director of the ICU, “we’ll be able to provide the highest level of critical care treatment to the patients that come not only locally, but also from the whole eastern corridor.”

The hospital's current ICU was built in the 1970s; the new one is equipped with modern technology.

“We’ve updated to all computerized treatment abilities and monitoring abilities,” said Hansen. “It’s a marked upgrade for us and also allows us to integrate services Forbes has added which includes trauma, neurosurgery, high-level orthopedics, etcetera.”

The $9 million facility is one component of an overall $36 million investment strategy aimed at expanding the hospital’s capabilities.

In addition to adding services, there is simply more space in the ICU, which can accommodate patients’ families.

“With the trends in critical care showing that having family-centric areas in the rooms, we have taken care to increase our accommodations in the rooms so the families can stay there and be present with their loved ones,” said Hansen.

The hospital’s trauma services were tested with last year’s Franklin Regional stabbing, and this year’s Monroeville Mall shooting. Hansen said had there not been a trauma center there, critical time would be lost transporting patients to facilities farther away.

The new ICU opens Monday March 2.