Doctors, nurses and support staff moved about 180 patients from 1960’s-era UC Irvine Medical Center into the state-of-the-art rooms at University Hospital. Teams worked in shifts March 7-8 to wheel patients across a bridge between the buildings or through a basement tunnel. Oncology and intensive care unit patients, about 30 infants from the neonatal intensive care unit and five burn center patients were transferred. Some chose to have friends or family members accompany them on the 10-minute move.
University Hospital began admitting new patients Monday. Five operating rooms were in use by 7:15 a.m. and more than two dozen patients underwent surgery. All 15 operating rooms are expected to be available by the end of the week.
The medical center’s emergency room and trauma center remained open and received patients during the weekend move. Though elective surgeries were deferred to this week, three operating rooms in the old hospital remained available for emergencies.