SSM Health Medical Minute – Don’t delay emergency care, ERs are safe during COVID-19

Medical Minute

ST. LOUIS – As COVID-19 cases are on the rise again in our region, ER physicians want you to be assured that the emergency room is a safe place for your emergency.

During the spring, ERs around the area saw a nearly 60 percent decline in patients. It can only be assumed that patients feared coming into the ERs for acute emergencies like chest pain, heart issues, abdominal pain, stroke, diabetes, and more.

Dr. Cassandra Haddox is the Emergency Department Medical Director at the newly renovated SSM Health St. Mary’s Hospital ER who says that her department has gotten much bigger during renovations. They can handle up to 50 patients at a time and are able to separate acute patients from COVID-19 patients. Hospitals have been working to ensure patients with emergency health needs can be safely treated and kept away from patients experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.

At the ER, you will find providers are covered in PPE equipment and masked, your temperature will be checked and you will be isolated quickly from the waiting room.

Dr. Haddox says visitors are very limited right now, to only one guest and her newly remodeled ED has been equipped with a ventilation system with negative pressure so that no one at risk, can spread COVID-19 around the ED.

Emergency conditions and symptoms that could require a call to 911 are:

  • Heart attacks and other causes of chest pain
  • Stroke
  • Numbness or weakness in the face, arm, or leg
  • Sudden dizziness, loss of coordination or balance
  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Injuries from accidents at home and work
  • Motor vehicle accident injuries
  • Headache
  • Abdominal pain
  • Burn injuries
  • Emotional distress
  • Difficulty speaking
  • Sudden blurred vision
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Seizures
  • Coughing up or vomiting blood
  • Deep cuts or bleeding that won’t stop
  • Fractures with bones showing
  • Overdoses or poisoning

In the case of a minor emergency, you can hold your place in line while you rest at home.

To learn more about emergency services, click here.

The SSM Health Medical Minute airs Wednesdays on News 11 at 7 p.m. and FOX 2 News at 9 p.m.

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