FOR RELEASE: 8/10/2011Contact: John Cappiello, (203) 384-3637

Installation of new CT scanner signals near-completion of Emergency Department renovation at Bridgeport Hospital

A new Emergency Department-based CT scanner began operation at Bridgeport Hospital on July 1. The CT scanner is the hospital’s second and will help provide more prompt diagnostic care for emergency patients, who no longer have to be transported to the Radiology Department for their tests. The new CT scanner, which is available for use 24/7, also serves other hospital patients on nights and weekends.

CT scans are special computer-enhanced X-rays that are clearer and more detailed than regular X-rays. In the Emergency Department, CT scans are especially helpful to physicians in assessing traumatic injuries because they can provide cross-sectional views of all types of tissue.

Installation of the CT scanner is one of the last steps in the multi-year Emergency Department expansion and renovation at Bridgeport Hospital that began in the fall of 2005. The department’s previous modernization took place in 1979, when the hospital received 30,000 annual emergency visits. By the time the current modernization project began, the department was seeing more than 60,000 annual patient visits. This year, more than 75,000 visits are expected.

“Clearly there was a need to expand our space to meet the growing emergency care needs of our community,” says Michael Werdmann, MD, Bridgeport Hospital’s Chairman of Emergency Medicine. “Not only has there been an increase in patients, new technology has also created a demand for more space.”

The first phase of the project involved the addition of 11,000 square feet of new space to the existing 14,000. The new addition was completed in February 2007 and houses treat-and-release areas, including waiting rooms and exam rooms. Also housed in the new addition is the Elizabeth M. Pfriem Children’s Emergency Center. The first phase also included the addition of a new 55-space patient parking area.

The second and third of the project, both renovations to the ED’s previously existing space, were completed in 2008. Phase two focused on the major medical area of the department and Phase three on the upgrading of the patient holding area.

In addition to the CT scanner, the fourth phase involved renovations to the ED’s two trauma rooms and psychiatric area. Phase four was originally targeted for completion in the fall of 2009 but the national economic downturn resulted in the hospital stretching out the project over a longer period of time. The majority of the $19 million cost of the expansion and renovation project was funded by corporate and community donations.

“We now have the physical space to better support the high level of emergency and trauma care that we have always provided,” says Dr. Werdmann.

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Part of Yale New Haven Health System, Bridgeport Hospital is a 383-bed acute care hospital (plus 42 beds licensed to Yale-New Haven Children’s Hospital) serving parts of Fairfield and New Haven counties. The hospital admits more than 18,000 patients and receives more than 240,000 outpatient visits annually.