Children’s Hospital New Orleans Opens New Emergency Department

NEW ORLEANS – Children’s Hospital New Orleans has announced the opening of its expanded emergency department, which is double the size of its predecessor. Part of the hospital’s ongoing $300 million transformation, the new 32,000-square-foot space features fast track and rapid assessment rooms, dedicated trauma bays, and a private behavioral health pod. Growing from 29 to 46 emergency rooms, the new emergency department expands the capacity of a hospital that already cares for more than 50,000 pediatric patients per year. 

“Children’s Hospital New Orleans is in an unprecedented period of growth, and this is another example of us coming together to deliver the resources needed for the families in our community,” said John Nickens, Children’s Hospital president and CEO, in a press release.

The emergency department, which once spanned several floors, is now housed on one floor. Later this month, the main entrance for patients and families will shift to the hospital’s new main concourse.

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“During the design phase of our new Emergency Department, we spent a lot of time thinking through the various aspects of the space,” said Jonathan Brouk, senior vice president and chief operating officer/chief strategy officer at Children’s. “Throughout the emergency department, various design elements such as colorful lighting, illuminated textures, reading nooks and bright colors have been integrated from the welcome desk to the care team stations, exam rooms and registration areas – delivering an environment just for kids and families.”

The new department’s dedicated trauma bays are designed to care for children involved in motor vehicle accidents or who have experienced violence, abuse, or other serious trauma. In addition, eight rooms have been added to address the specific needs of children and adolescents in a psychiatric crisis. The rooms are equipped with secure access and special furniture.

“Children are suffering from depression, anxiety, and suicide ideation at alarmingly increasing rates and we have experienced a steady increase of patients presenting to our emergency department in crisis,” said Toni Gross, MD, service line chief of emergency medicine at Children’s Hospital. “Between October 2020 and March 2021, the Children’s Hospital ED treated over 1,500 patients with a chief complaint or disposition indicating a behavioral health emergency, which is an average of 8 patients per day.”

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In addition to the expansions at Children’s Hospital’s main campus, the hospital will open its new, Metairie-based emergency room this fall, along with its existing pediatric emergency department located at West Jefferson Medical Center.

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