In the age of COVID-19, what should you do if you have symptoms of a heart attack or stroke, feel intense abdominal pain or have a severe headache? These situations require a trip to the emergency room. But is it safe to go right now? Are emergency rooms even open? Yes and yes.
Across the country, people are staying away from the hospital and emergency room out of fear of catching coronavirus. In some cases, that means they’re not getting the treatment they need. Remember – it’s vital you seek medical attention when you need it. The consequences of delaying care can be steep – particularly for heart attacks and strokes. For both conditions, waiting longer for treatment worsens outcomes. There are time-sensitive treatments for many conditions that will give you a better chance of a full recovery – but if you wait at home, you’ll miss that opportunity and your symptoms can potentially worsen.
Edward-Elmhurst Health is open and providing both emergent and elective surgeries and procedures. We have taken steps to ensure all patients are safe and to prevent the spread of disease. Our care remains the same – it just might look a little different right now. Here’s what patients might experience when coming to the emergency department:
- Screenings at all visitor entrances. Anyone who enters the building is asked a series of questions regarding their current health situation and their temperature is taken before they are allowed to come inside.
- Face masks must be worn upon entry.
- Medical personnel may be wearing more personal protective equipment than normal, including gowns, masks, gloves and goggles.
- Patients with respiratory symptoms/suspected of having COVID-19 are seen in designated areas within each emergency department.
- Visitor restrictions are in place for the protection of patients and staff.
- Patients are registered remotely to limit exposure.
- Extra staff has been assigned to perform hourly cleaning.
Edward-Elmhurst Health is nationally recognized for its quality and safety measures. These measures are at the forefront of every decision we’ve made since the onset of COVID-19 and will continue to guide how we provide care for our patients.