Local News

Cape Fear Valley Medical Center Expands Pediatric ER Unit

Posted July 3, 2001

— The emergency room can be a busy place on the Fourth of July and on many other days. Fayetteville's

Cape Fear Valley Medical Center

is expanding its pediatric emergency room.

At first glance, it is hard to remember where you are, but that is the goal of Cape Fear Valley's pediatric emergency room. Patricia Drye says a coloring book is working as the perfect deterrent for 4-year-old Prisha's swollen eye.

"She's not even worried. Any other time I take her to a doctor, she's fidgeting, running around and scared the doctor is going to come in with needle. Here, she is content," she says.

The children's ER stays busy, taking care of about 950 kids a month. It has been there for a year and a half, but because there is such a demand, it is extending its hours to 10 a.m. until midnight, seven days a week.

Even with hospital cutbacks and layoffs, administrators say they are able to expand without increasing the budget.

"We actually flexed the staff in the emergency room department area to provide the care to the pediatric patients," says Debra Marshburn, emergency room administrative director.

The pediatric emergency room also has its own waiting room. It is less traumatic for the child because they do not see traumas coming through the door. Instead, they see a painted ceiling and can concentrate on Dr. Seuss instead of the doctor on duty.

The average time from start to finish for a child's visit is two hours. The new hours for the pediatric ER are also expected to make things move faster in the main ER department.


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