Carle seeking large expansion of emergency department

URBANA — Carle Foundation Hospital has applied to a state regulatory board for permission to add space and beds to its emergency department.

Use of Carle's emergency room, which serves as the local area's Level 1 trauma center, has "skyrocketed," hospital officials said.

Level I trauma centers serve the most acutely ill and injured patients in their regions.

Carle is proposing to add 14,000 square feet to its emergency department, along with 17 acute care beds in 2014.

Some other features of the project would also include adding another trauma room and adding or replacing imaging equipment in a dedicated radiology suite.

Carle says it served more than 65,000 people in its emergency department last year and use of the emergency room has grown 25 percent between 2004 and 2011.

The Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board must approve the project before Carle can proceed, and Carle officials say they hope to get the go-ahead in October.

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