Aiken Regional free-standing ER opens in North Augusta

Published: Aug. 8, 2022 at 6:20 PM EDT
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NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. (WRDW/WAGT) - Aiken Regional Medical Center is opening a brand-new free-standing emergency room off Exit 5.

If you live in the area, you’d have to drive over 20 minutes to get to Aiken Regional. Piedmont and Augusta University are closer. It would take you about 15 minutes to get to from Exit 5.

This facility will have the same services you would find in a traditional emergency room, like X-rays, CT scans and an on-site laboratory.

“We can see any patient that a normal ER would. The only difference is we don’t have a hospital attached,” said ER at Sweetwater Manager Jenny Meuse.

The new emergency room equipped with treatment areas and exam rooms is part of an expansion project with Aiken Regional Medical Center.

Aiken Regional Chief Executive Officer Jim O’Loughlin said: “This will help relieve some of the stress on emergency departments in hospitals.”

As North Augusta continues to grow, so does the need for access to healthcare and emergency medicine.

“I think it is a comforting peace of mind knowing that you’ve got an emergency facility open 24 hours, seven days a week in your neighborhood,” he said.

Not only is the ER at Sweetwater bringing care closer to home, O’Loughlin says it also takes a load off other hospitals and healthcare workers.

Meuse said: “We’ve been waiting a long time for this. The nurses are so excited. Everybody’s been working for weeks trying to get this place open.”

The full-service emergency department officially opens on Aug. 9 at 8 a.m. and will remain open 24/7 to provide full-service care.

“Lots of training and lots of preparing has gone into this,” she said.

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