LAWTON, OK (KSWO) -Emergency room…by very definition it's the department of a hospital that provides immediate treatment for acute illnesses and trauma.
In light of the recent mass shooting in Florida and the aging of America, the ER has never been a more important part of the community. Here's a sneak peek of the newest expansion to Comanche County Memorial Hospital, the Drewry Family Emergency Center.
Although the population in Lawton is much less than nearby municipalities, the ER at Comanche County Memorial Hospital treated more than 55,000 people in 2015 alone. In an effort to accommodate the ever increasing number of patients and provide exceptional care, CCMH is expanding the capacity and specialty care areas of their ER.
"We are ecstatic about the addition of the new emergency center here at Comanche County Memorial Hospital because we are the regional referral center in Southwest Oklahoma. All of the major traumas are brought to our emergency center and we see anything you can imagine. But this is an extremely busy emergency center. Most people don't know but we are one of the busiest emergency centers in the state of Oklahoma," said Lori Cummins, CCMH.
As with most county hospitals, CCMH treats all patients regardless of their ability to pay, so it must rely on the financial contributions of donors, such the Drewry family for which the new ER is named.
"The emergency room is the first place that you go, it is the most important place. It's just been really exciting for us to donate the money to get the emergency room a lot larger and a lot more comfortable for the patients," said Stephanie Drewry, one of the donors.
When complete, the ER will have 38 beds, almost 30,000 additional square feet of space, two level 3 trauma rooms, two psychiatric rooms and an on-site, state-of-the-art CT and diagnostic imaging room.
Dr. Lyons heads the diagnostic team in the emergency department and says the new equipment, coupled with expert clinicians, can be the difference between life and death.
"We have several trauma cases that come in off of the highway or the road that patients are critical and they need prompt care. And previously, where our CT was located, there was a little bit of distance between the trauma room and the CT room. So there's times where nurses have to come with the patient and sometimes patients have to be resuscitated, so when you're close to the trauma rooms it definitely helps. It gives the patient a better chance," Dr. Lyons said.
In the weeks to come, we will preview additional aspects of the new Drewry Family Emergency Center and talk with the medical professionals, administrators and donors who are committed to exceptional patient care in the community.
"No one wants to be in the emergency department and we are working really diligently to make sure that through the efficiencies and the space and the accommodations we have here and our staffing we will be able to be more efficient in the care that we are delivering," Cummins said.