Not every serious medical case should go to emergency room

A surge in COVID-19 cases is putting a strain on some New Hampshire hospitals, with emergency department wait times stretching for hours. But the emergency department is not always the best option.Hospital officials say emergency situations should be directed to emergency departments, but many serious ailments can be treated elsewhere.”Your […]

A surge in COVID-19 cases is putting a strain on some New Hampshire hospitals, with emergency department wait times stretching for hours. But the emergency department is not always the best option.Hospital officials say emergency situations should be directed to emergency departments, but many serious ailments can be treated elsewhere.”Your primary care doctor or family doctor can help you with that and essentially triage you to decide, ‘Well, I think this needs to go to the hospital,'” said Dr. Joohahn Kim, of Dartmouth-Hitchcock Manchester.As COVID-19 cases continue to surge throughout New England. emergency departments are dealing with a lot of patient traffic and often have long wait times.”COVID does tend to crowd out some other issues that people might have, unfortunately,” said Dr. Edward Duffy, executive vice president of Littleton Regional Hospital.Symptoms such as severe chest pain, trouble breathing, stroke symptoms and uncontrollable bleeding should prompt immediate calls to 911. Other symptoms can first be assessed at home, doctors said.”A lot of people have oximeters at home, little devices they put on their finger,” Duffy said. “If you have one of those and your number goes below 90, then you need to come to the emergency department.”Exeter Hospital has turned to Facebook and posted an informational document with when and where a person should be treated, depending on the symptoms. Kim said the last thing any doctor wants is for someone to delay care.”The biggest part of last year was so many people didn’t go that now, we’re sort of confronted with this delay in care,” he said.”Emergency departments are still here throughout the state and throughout the region to take care of the things they need to and sometimes the things that just present commonly to them,” Duffy said.

A surge in COVID-19 cases is putting a strain on some New Hampshire hospitals, with emergency department wait times stretching for hours. But the emergency department is not always the best option.

Hospital officials say emergency situations should be directed to emergency departments, but many serious ailments can be treated elsewhere.

“Your primary care doctor or family doctor can help you with that and essentially triage you to decide, ‘Well, I think this needs to go to the hospital,'” said Dr. Joohahn Kim, of Dartmouth-Hitchcock Manchester.

As COVID-19 cases continue to surge throughout New England. emergency departments are dealing with a lot of patient traffic and often have long wait times.

“COVID does tend to crowd out some other issues that people might have, unfortunately,” said Dr. Edward Duffy, executive vice president of Littleton Regional Hospital.

Symptoms such as severe chest pain, trouble breathing, stroke symptoms and uncontrollable bleeding should prompt immediate calls to 911. Other symptoms can first be assessed at home, doctors said.

“A lot of people have oximeters at home, little devices they put on their finger,” Duffy said. “If you have one of those and your number goes below 90, then you need to come to the emergency department.”

Exeter Hospital has turned to Facebook and posted an informational document with when and where a person should be treated, depending on the symptoms. Kim said the last thing any doctor wants is for someone to delay care.

“The biggest part of last year was so many people didn’t go that now, we’re sort of confronted with this delay in care,” he said.

“Emergency departments are still here throughout the state and throughout the region to take care of the things they need to and sometimes the things that just present commonly to them,” Duffy said.

https://www.wmur.com/article/new-hampshire-hospitals-emergency-rooms-urgent-care/38630755

Christin Hakim

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