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Surge tent to be set up outside emergency department

Image with caption: The ED surge tent will be erected today on campus.

The ED surge tent will be erected today on campus.

An inflatable tent, known as an "ED surge tent," will be erected today outside the Emergency Department at Nebraska Medical Center, on Dewey Ave. The space will allow additional bed capacity and increases preparedness for a possible surge of patients accessing the emergency department.

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"Our goal is to provide the best patient care possible," said Joel Haman, coordinator, Emergency Preparedness. "To do that, we must be as prepared as we possibly can."

The tent will be fully functional, with electricity, internet, heat and air conditioning. It also will be equipped with workstations -- both stationary and on wheels and will be fully staffed.

The tent is designed for eight patients on stretchers. Suzanne Watson, manager, Emergency Services, said if needed, additional patients can be placed in chairs. Watson said the ED is still working to determine the workflow and what patients will be cared for in the field hospital when necessary.

Teams expect set up to be complete on Tuesday, March 31. It will block passage on Dewey Ave.; all traffic attempting to travel west on Dewey Ave. will be diverted.

The tent has been available for use for 10 years as part of pandemic planning. It has been set up before during drills, but never deployed for use outside of training.

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