ER 24/7 in Riverview Nurse Manager Melissa Bell, second from left, is joined by Bayflite aircrew members (l-r): Daniel Lester, pilot; Scott Fetterman, paramedic; and Brian Stines, registered nurse, during an open house event at the facility.

By Brad Stager

Riverview and nearby Southeast Hillsborough County residents now have more access to emergency medical treatment for an injury or illness with the opening of a new, 1,086 sq. ft. freestanding emergency medical room at 12530 S. US Hwy. 301.

Called ER 24/7 in Riverview, the facility is operated by Brandon Regional Hospital and, as the name says, is open around-the-clock daily to provide emergency care for children and adults requiring immediate medical attention beyond what is available at a walk-in clinic or family medical practice.

Freestanding emergency rooms, or off-site emergency departments, are state-licensed medical facilities that are separate from but under the direction of a hospital, in this case Brandon Hospital, which is about 20 minutes away. They are certified to provide the same level of care as a hospital-based emergency room.

Diagnostic tools available at ER 24/7 include X-rays, open CT scans and a full range of on-site laboratory services. There are also isolation facilities for safely decontaminating patients exposed to chemicals or pathogens, and even a baby warmer for newborns.

“I can’t tell you how many babies are born in an ER,” said Melissa Bell, ER 24/7’s nurse manager. “It happens all the time.”

Brandon Hospital officials cite the population growth in Riverview as prompting a need for facilities like Brandon Hospital’s Riverview emergency department on the southeast corner of U.S. 301 and Panther Trace Blvd.

The Riverview emergency department is the third such facility opened by Brandon Hospital in Hillsborough County. The other two are located in Plant City and Temple Terrace. Brandon Hospital also plans to open a remote emergency department in Wesley Chapel and another in Lakeland.

According to Bell, having an emergency department in the community can be a lifesaver, which became apparent to the ER 24/7 staff within the first 24 hours after the facility opened on the evening of May 24. Early the next morning a mother drove up with her unresponsive daughter suffering from a drug overdose. Bell said having an emergency room nearby may have made the difference in saving the child’s life.

“That says why we’re here.”

You can learn more about ER 24/7 in Riverview by calling 413-3888 or visiting online at ERRiverview.com, where you can even check out approximately how long the wait for treatment is.