Mercy Hospital in north-west Oklahoma City has announced plans to expand its emergency department with a $2.6m donation from local donor Herman Meinders through Mercy Health Foundation.

As part of the expansion, the hospital will add square footage to its emergency room (ER), which will house a CT scanner and radiology equipment in the future.

The expansion will allow patients in the ER who require a CT scan to receive specialised imaging on the same floor, which was previously situated on a different floor within the hospital.

Certified as an Advanced Comprehensive Stroke Center by the Joint Commission, Mercy Hospital has the fastest ‘door-to-needle’ time for stroke patients in the state, with an average of 27 minutes compared with the average of 44 minutes.

Upon completion of the project, stroke patients will be wheeled straight from the ambulance into the CT scanner.

Mercy Hospital Oklahoma City emergency department chair Dr Lance Watson said: “We see about 140 patients every day in our ER, and around 60 of them need a CT scan.

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“This project is so important because the quicker we can get a diagnosis, the quicker we can get patients the treatment they need”.

The expansion project comes at a time when hospitals across the country are facing pandemic-related financial challenges, including increased costs and labour shortages, the statement said.