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LVH plans $111M emergency room expansion

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An artist's rendering of the planned emergency room expansion at Lehigh Valley Hospital-Cedar Crest. (Contributed)
An artist's rendering of the planned emergency room expansion at Lehigh Valley Hospital-Cedar Crest. (Contributed)

Lehigh Valley Health Network announced plans to expand its emergency department at Lehigh Valley Hospital-Cedar Crest that would more than triple its size.

The $111 million project was presented this week to the Salisbury Township planning commission.

The project includes expansions to the adult and children’s emergency departments, increasing the square footage and number of beds at both, and a new 62-bed observation unit adjacent to the adult emergency room.

About 90,000 adult and pediatric patients visit the LVH-Cedar Crest emergency room annually.

The plans would add 120,000 square feet to the hospital’s emergency room, which is about 37,000 square feet, and create separate entrances and waiting areas for the adult and children’s ERs.

The expansion would add space for 123 beds, more than double the number available now. The adult ER would increase from 42 beds to 97, and the children’s ER would increase from 12 beds to 26.

Plans call for a diagnostic testing area, laboratory, pharmacy, behavioral health care and an additional three trauma bays.

The adult observation unit will be for patients who need additional care but do not require inpatient stays.

If approved by the township, construction on the project could begin this year or early next year, with a projected opening of the adult ER by fall 2020, LVHN said.

After the expanded adult ER opens, the existing ER would be renovated to become the expanded children’s ER, which could open in early 2021.

During construction, the MedEvac helipad would be temporarily relocated to an area off Fish Hatchery Road near an employee parking lot. It would be relocated above the new ambulance entrance after the ER is completed.

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