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CoxHealth Expands its Critical Care Unit


CoxHealth is preparing to open its new space for critical care patients Thursday.  Construction on the $17 million project began last fall.  The two-story expansion totals 30,000 square feet.  On the upper floor is the critical care expansion, and on the lower floor is warehouse and mechanical space.

The new area connects to the existing Surgical ICU and Neurotrauma ICU on Cox South’s ground floor.

Mary Hines, Neurotrauma nurse manager at Cox, says they’ve had to hire several nurses because of the expansion and hope to hire more.

She says the demand for services dictated the need for the new addition…

"We tend to be full with critical care patients as everybody is across the country.  People are waiting longer and longer to come receive care, and so they just tend to be sicker and sicker and so the need is great all over the place." 

The unit handles head injury and stroke patients but will also treat any critical care patient.

According to Hines, the rooms are larger to allow staff and family more room to move around the patient’s bed.  And there’s new technology…

Speakers on the side of the beds play classical and jazz music as well as nature sounds…

 And the beds have technology that allows them to speak in almost every language…

The technology doesn’t take the place of a human translator.  Hines says they can use it to do assessments until the translator arrives.

There are also lifts above every bed capable to handling more than 1000 pounds.

The unit is designed in three pods, allowing staff to work in concentrated areas within the larger space.  And the addition is designed to allow hospital workers easy access to all areas of the unit.

The expansion brings the total number of critical care beds at Cox South to 76.

For KSMU, I’m Michele Skalicky.