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Advances in Care

2014 highlighted by proton beam milestone, new angioplasty processes and ER expansion

As an academic medical center, Barnes-Jewish Hospital is dedicated to advancing medical care. Along with other advances in 2014, our proton therapy center completed its first year of operation, we employed a new way of doing angioplasty that is safer for some patients, and expanded our emergency department to improve patient flow and to make a more appealing environment for our patients and their families.

Proton beam

In its first year of operation, the S. Lee Kling Center for Proton Therapy has treated more than 100 cancer patients with an innovative form of radiation therapy.

S. Lee Kling Center for Proton TherapyThe treatments, which utilize the world's first proton system of its kind, are delivered at Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.

In its first year of operation, the new system delivered more than 6,700 clinical treatment fields to 118 patients. Of those patients, about 25 percent were children and 75 percent were adults.

Proton therapy is a precise form of radiation treatment that targets tumors while sparing surrounding healthy tissues, making it ideal for adults with tumors near the heart, brain or other sensitive locations as well as treating pediatric cancer patients.


Angioplasty is performed on more than a half-million patient nationally each year. Cardiologists at Barnes-Jewish Hospital are using new technology and techniques to reduce the risk of bleeding and collateral damage to a patient's kidneys.

Our partner Washington University School of Medicine physicians are reducing the risk of bleeding by utilizing alternate site insertion points. To reduce the opportunity for kidney damage, physicians review each patient's medical history and use intravascular ultrasound to determine the minimal amount of contrast dye required for each procedure.

View a video about this technique.

Hyperbaric Oxygen

Barnes-Jewish also is expanding the use of hyperbaric oxygen therapy. Patients undergoing this therapy are placed in a pressurized chamber where they breathe 100 percent oxygen. Oxygen-rich blood helps promote healing in tissues by stimulating small blood vessel growth, promoting new skin growth and helping fight infection, all of which reduce the likelihood a limb will need to be amputated.

Emergency Department Expansion

The Charles F. Knight Emergency and Trauma Center was built in 2002. It is one of three adult Level I trauma centers in the region with about 95,000 visits annually.

In 2014, Barnes-Jewish Hospital completed renovations on the emergency department waiting area. The three-month renovation improved patient flow, added triage rooms and equipment, and softened the environment for patients and their families.

The total number of rooms available to evaluate patients has doubled, allowing staff to more quickly assess and triage incoming patients. Each room now has a dedicated EKG machine, improving door-to-EKG time. In addition, soft colors and improved lighting have helped decrease patients' stress levels and anxiety.

As one of the largest and busiest emergency departments in the state, the renovations not only improve the patient experience, but also allow the hospital to take care of more people and do it efficiently.

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