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Preview of St. Luke's new emergency department

Alejandra Palacios
Updated: August 12, 2020 06:33 PM

The St. Luke's new emergency department project is at its' final phases of completion and is set to open to the community soon.

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Project leaders said the new emergency department is focused on providing efficient emergency care to patients with more space and privacy in mind. The new emergency department triples the capacity of the current department.

"I think the biggest highlight of this space is that it's very designed with feedback from our entire community and also from our providers," said Michael Boeselager, the vice president of St. Luke's Support Services.

With comfortable and quality emergency care in mind, Boeselager said the $37.5 million project features expanded cardiac services and state of the art technology. It also provides accessible emergency transport with a heated ambulance garage triple the size of the current one.

"It has a capacity to receive six ambulances and several squads at the same time. The location of it has immediate access into the areas such as the trauma room so that gives immediate access when seconds really count," said Boeselager.

There's 37 exam rooms. Twenty-seven of them are for general treatment. There's also a decontamination room, four behavioral health treatment rooms, and two triage rooms. There's also four trauma rooms that are designed like operating rooms.

"It has all of the utilities and features of an operating room. It has an equipment room and all the medical gases and other infrastructure to support the equipment. It's designed in a way where it can be moved around the patient so it's at the fingertips of the providers and at the place where it needs to be when it needs to be. The surgical lights have full LED capacity," said Boeselager.

Patient privacy and space is one of the main focuses of the new project. The rooms feature TV's and USB charging outlets as well.

"We have the ability to separate patients. They really never have to be together in a waiting room because they get to be escorted back to a private room," said Boeselager.

Weather is another consideration for the project. A canopy is being included to the entrance for the colder winter months and features heated sidewalks.

"It keeps people out of the elements and free of snow which we have in Duluth and also the entire helistop will be heated as well. The traffic and the safety of the patients coming in and out and those EMS providers will be very important," said Boeselager.

There's also two new cath lab suites, a recovery bay, two CT suites, ultrasound and portable x-ray. There's also a sexual assault nurse examiner room and bereavement room.

The new emergency department opens for business on Aug. 25.

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Alejandra Palacios

Copyright 2020 WDIO-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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