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University Hospital opening new ER

Expansion nearly doubles treatment space

Twice the space, twice the improvement-- University Hospital has a new and improved emergency room housed in the Sky Tower.

Expanding from 45 beds to 86, the Medical Director of the Emergency Department, Dr. Kenneth Marriott said the facility will better serve the entire south Texas region.

"It gives us better ability to see more patients, get our patients through the hospital faster and get them to the care that they need," said Dr. Marriott.

The new ER is two football fields long and about one football field wide. It's arranged in pods based on the severity of the patient's condition.

The new facility includes fast-track, where patients can be treated quickly for minor emergencies, in the trauma and medicine resuscitation rooms.

Dr. Marriott said the current ER sees about 60,000 patients a year.

"The new facility here will easily allow us to see that number of patients in a more expedient manner and allow for continued growth," said Dr. Marriott.

In addition to the expansion of the ER facility, the upgrades also include double the parking spaces.

As the leading trauma center for 22 counties in south Texas, trauma nurse William Herrera believes the new ER is a long time coming.

"We're hoping to get all these people in and out or upstairs as soon as possible, and getting them the care they deserve," said Herrera.

The move into the new building is set for Monday.