VA Emergency Is High-Tech

ST. PETERSBURG -

New, state of the art emergency medical care is now available for military veterans in Pinellas and surrounding counties. The Bay Pines VA in St. Petersburg just expanded its emergency department.

Roughly 21,000 veterans come through the Bay Pines Emergency facilities annually. Until now, there were 10 beds separated only by curtains.

Now, the number of rooms is doubled, 20, and they're private. There also are four 'safe rooms' for patients with mental health problems.

Larry Diehl, chief nurse for primary care, says the Emergency Department expansion includes significant technological advances.

'We now have a CT scanner that is placed in the emergency room which is absolutely state of the art,' Diehl says. A digital x-ray was added. And, VA medical records are digitized so a patient's health care history is literally at the finger tips of medical staff in each emergency examination room.

Bay Pines is the 4th largest VA hospital in the nation with 94,000 veterans treated each year.

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