Under the leadership of Dr. John Coffey, Chairman, Emergency Medicine, BronxCare’s Emergency Department (ED) has become one of the best and busiest in the New York metropolitan area, with 141,000 patient visits annually. “Our highly experienced physicians, nurses, and support staff are experts in successfully responding to and treating all adult and pediatric medical and surgical conditions, as well as mental health problems,” stated Dr. Coffey. As a direct result of the continuing demand for emergency services, BronxCare has increased its ED capacity to include a new patient care area with eleven stretcher bays, two treatment rooms, and a new work station. This expansion provides additional capacity for responding to urgent care and seriously ill patients.
BronxCare’s ED continues to experience higher patient volume, as well as significant increases in the severity of illnesses treated, including more patients in the advanced stages of complicated conditions, such as heart disease, hypertension, asthma, sepsis, and diabetes. These patients often require extensive medical attention, transfer to the OR for surgical intervention, or admission. Frequently, such patients require continuing care in the Intensive Care Units, or close monitoring in the Observation Area.
Critically ill patients with life-threatening conditions are immediately treated in BronxCare’s state-of-the-art code and trauma rooms. There, staff perform cardiac monitoring and pacing, defibrillation, intubation, and mechanical ventilation, as well as administer intravenous medications. BronxCare’s 911 designation as a Stroke Center is helping patients suffering from a possible stroke obtain immediate care in the ED and receive the vital medications necessary. ER staff members from its dedicated adult and pediatric asthma areas are also addressing the high incidence of this disease in the Bronx. As a New York State designated heart attack PCI (Percutaneous Coronary Intervention) Treatment Center, BronxCare’s ED is successfully responding to this most serious problem. It utilizes cutting edge technology to treat heart attacks by opening blocked coronary arteries. This lifesaving treatment is being performed by the Emergency Department in close collaboration with the Division of Cardiology.
In the Pediatric area, Dr. Roy Vega, Director, Pediatric Emergency Medicine, and his team are treating all types of conditions in children. "Families can take comfort in knowing that we will provide their children with superior emergency care," stated Dr. Vega.
BronxCare receives ED cases through the Fire Department of New York’s 911 system and also operates six ambulances, including four basic life support and two advanced life support vehicles. These ambulances provide vital assistance to the community in emergency-related situations.
“We have a strong working relationship with the FDNY and NYPD. They depend on us and have total confidence in our ability to respond to any kind of trauma or life-threatening emergency.”
For those individuals or families with mental health emergencies, BronxCare’s Comprehensive Psychiatric Emergency Program (CPEP) is responding to the challenge. When necessary, its special Mobile Crisis team is stabilizing and resolving emotional crisis situations directly in the community.
The ED staff also works closely with the hospital’s centralized registration call center to expedite the patient referral process. When ER patients are discharged, appropriate follow-up plans, including referrals to the hospital’s BronxCare outpatient network, are established.
"As busy as the ER can become, the staff makes every effort to attend to the needs of our patients."
ER patients have available to them the most advanced radiology services, including diagnostic films, sonography, CT scans, and magnetic resonance imaging. Consulting physicians from other specialty areas at BronxCare are also called in, when necessary. Additionally, the ER is fully computerized, an important tool in monitoring and tracking patients through the course of their Emergency Department stay.