New ER facility at St. Charles Hospital opening Friday

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, June 5, 2012



LULING – Administrators at St. Charles Parish Hospital say the facility’s new $3.5 million emergency room, which will celebrate its grand opening Friday, will be more suitable to the needs of a parish continuing to grow.

The project, which began in 2010, expands the emergency room facility from 3,500 square feet to more than 12,000 square feet and adds new multi-functional acute care rooms that are broken down based on the seriousness of the patient case. Quinn Landry, director of marketing for the hospital, said the new ER will help to better meet the needs of the community.

“The hospital has been around since 1959, and it was built for a small community,” Landry said. “The hospital spent several years researching emergency facilities to determine what would work best for this community.”

Landry said one major thing the hospital took into account was the growing number of industrial plants within the parish on both sides of the river and the assortment of hazards that come with that territory. He said the new ER will feature a self-contained decontamination area with its own entrance and ventilation system that is designed to limit the spread of contaminants in the event of an industrial accident.

“We know there is always a concern that there could be a chemical release or other major accident at the 20 or more plants in the parish,” Landry said. “We could get a large influx of patients, and we need to be prepared for that.”

Landry said ER patients can expect shorter wait times, increased room size and more patient privacy as part of the new design. The new facility will have updated equipment and a better movement flow, with a separate entrance for EMS and a wider hallway at the ambulance entrance.

“The hospital never really had a true emergency room,” Landry said. “The emergency department kind of moved all around the hospital. The expansion gives us true emergency services.”

The expanded ER will also include rooms broken down based on the sickness level of the patient. Landry said non-life threatening ER patients and more serious cases would have separate wait areas

“Those patients who do not immediately need a bed would be put in a waiting room in view of the nurses’ station,” Landry said. “There will also be an outer waiting room for family of patients.”

Voters in St. Charles Parish approved an $11.5 million bond issue for the project and other improvements last year from a tax dedicated to hospital construction. The balance of the money went to buying and refurbishing the hospital’s east bank ambulance station and buying five new ambulances and other equipment.

The grand opening celebration will be from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the hospital, located at 1057 Paul Maillard Road in Luling, and will include a dedication ceremony and tours of the building. Food will also be provided.