A $6 million expansion is coming to the Decatur-Morgan Hospital, and it will nearly triple the size of the emergency room.
WAAY 31 learned why the expansion is much-needed.
“My daughter swallowed a quarter or nickel in her throat," Quilicia Petty said.
When it comes to emergencies, a mom of five, Quilicia Petty, has had her fair share.
When she learned the Decatur-Morgan Hospital is expanding its emergency department, she was thrilled.
“The more beds, the bigger facility, the more they can have patients come in and not have to go other places, that would be awesome," she said.
Right now, the emergency department only has 13 rooms. Thursday night, it was at capacity and so some patients were diverted to other hospitals.
Hospital spokesman, Ed Nichols, says it’s not uncommon to see overcrowding during this time of year.
“Every county in the state is under extreme flu--other than Mobile--so, we’re seeing more patients with that; and, at the same time, you have your regular surgeries and those things that are going on," he said.
Nichols said no one was turned away Thursday night, but anyone who was in an ambulance, and not in critical condition, was given the option to go to another hospital across town, where the wait wasn't as long.
Nichols says the expansion will almost triple the current 13 patient care centers in the emergency department to 35, meaning overcrowding will, hopefully, be less common--which is something Quilicia Petty is happy to hear, in case one of her children has an emergency in the future.
“For them to be able to get treated quickly would be very, very important to me," she said. "Time is everything. Seconds count, minutes count, hours count.”
Hospital officials tell WAAY 31 the new emergency department will open its doors on March 1st.