Inova Loudoun opens new ER facility, level III trauma center

The expansion of the Inova Virts Miller Family Emergency and Trauma Center gives patients access to life-saving treatment.

(From left) Sage Bolte, chief philanthropy officer and president of Inova Health Foundation; Hunter Stone; Avery Miller; Leo Virts; Scott Miller; Dr. Edward Puccio, medical director of Department of Emergency Medicine at Inova Loudoun Hospital; Deborah Addo, president of Inova Loudoun Hospital; and April Brown, senior director of Emergency and Trauma Services at Inova. (Photo courtesy of Inova Loudoun Hospital)

A new trauma center has opened in Loudoun County, thanks to a recently completed $4 million renovation and expansion at Inova Loudoun Hospital. Named Inova Virts Miller Family Emergency and Trauma Center, it is the only trauma center located in Loudoun County.

It was named in honor of a $2 million donation by wife and husband Sharon Virts and Scott Miller, in 2016, after Virt’s brother visited the Inova Emergency Room in Leesburg with a brain aneurysm, and the family wanted to show their gratitude for the care received.

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“This expansion would not have been possible at all without the generous philanthropy of our community,” says Dr. Edward Puccio, chairman and medical director of the emergency at Inova Loudoun Hospital. “Particularly by Sharon Virts and Scott Miller, for making their catalytic contribution to this project to develop the emergency department and increase its capabilities for managing trauma patients.”

Virts and Miller later contributed another $2 million to develop the surgical trauma intensive care unit (STICU) and to encourage trauma education at the location. The hospital gathered various local philanthropic donations to finish the project.

The emergency department now boasts new waiting areas for adults and children, two trauma bays, a resuscitation room, behavioral health rooms, a family consult room, a new staff lounge and negative airflow rooms, used to stop the potential spread of infectious diseases.

Children’s waiting area in the newly expanded Inova Virts Miller Family Emergency and Trauma Center (Photo courtesy of Inova Loudoun Hospital)

There is also a better flow for entering the emergency department with easier access, as well as an open layout, which allows hospital staff to have a clear view of patients from various angles.

“It creates a more unified emergency department because all the rooms have a familiar layout, so [the staff is] familiar with the room anywhere they go,” says Puccio. “And the rooms are now much more visible from the nurse’s station so that you can see what’s going on in multiple patient rooms from the desk.”

Puccio says the new triage area, which doubled its capabilities by offering space for up to four patients, and expanded waiting areas are a result of the increased traffic the emergency department expects as the Loudoun County population continues to grow.

The Inova Virts Miller Family Emergency and Trauma Center is also now a certified Level III Trauma Center, with the hopes of transitioning into a Level II in the near future.

Puccio explained that there are three levels of trauma centers; with a level one being the highest (Inova Fairfax Hospital is home to the only Level I trauma center in Northern Virginia), level two having similar clinical capabilities, and level three having real capabilities, but the Loudoun hospital would need staffed trauma surgeons, orthopedic surgeons and other specialties in order to quickly see and treat trauma patients, as well as have facilities such as an operating room and radiology available to help with the evaluation of patients.

There are no current plans to get Inova Loudoun Hospital and the Inova Virts Miller Family Emergency and Trauma Center to Level I, but Puccio is looking forward to other developments in the hospital system, such as the new patient tower, upgrades to the Inova Radiation Oncology Center and the Inova Loudoun Nursing and Rehabilitation Center.

For now, Puccio is looking forward to treating local patients in an improved setting in Loudoun County, especially cases that could have consequences for patients if they are not treated quickly and to full capacity of the location they visit.

“There are many instances or injuries where minutes matter, such as stroke, heart attack, etc.,” says Puccio. “And we’re working on optimizing our care for those patients because we know that every minute of delay either going in an ambulance or transferring patients to another facility could result in a less optimal outcome for patients.” // Inova Loudoun Hospital Emergency Room: 44045 Riverside Parkway, Leesburg

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