At Phelps Memorial Health Center, the safety of our patients and team members is our top priority. If you are dealing with an urgent medical emergency, staying safe doesn’t mean staying away from the hospital.
We understand that some people may feel anxious about visiting a hospital during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, our hospital and emergency department remain a safe place to come and to receive care.
“During the past few months we have definitely seen a decline in the overall use of the emergency department, while some of this has been appropriate there is still concern for avoidance of the emergency room due to fear of the coronavirus pandemic,” said Katie Luthy, PA-C. “As a society we are exposed to news and media releases regarding COVID-19 daily and unfortunately this increases the fear some individuals are experiencing.”
As an ER provider at Phelps Memorial Health Center, Mrs. Luthy expressed her concerns noting that she is worried about the decline in the number of cases that should be seen in the emergency department. Specifically in issues such as those related to possible cardiac events or stroke.
She said, “These individuals should be presenting to the emergency room or contacting 911 without hesitation. The outcome of cardiac-related cases and strokes depends heavily on response times as well as appropriate treatment and interventions.”
She added, “Remember stroke-like symptoms, such as new onset numbness and weakness, changes in speech, sudden onset confusion, or dizziness all need to be evaluated by a medical professional.”
She noted that there is genuine concern that some may delay presenting for symptoms such as chest pain due to COVID-19, but individuals need to remember timely intervention for cardiac events is extremely important.
With or without COVID-19, there are also a large number of individuals who experience breathing issues from chronic respiratory diseases such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. These issues warrant a trip to the emergency room. Patients experiencing shortness of breath should not be afraid to come into the emergency department to seek additional care.
The emergency department is also necessary for accidents, big or small, that occur in and around a home or trauma related accidents.
Mrs. Luthy stated, “There is a term called the ‘golden hour’ for trauma cases, and 80 percent of trauma deaths happen within the first hour after the injury occurs.” She added, “The time frame for rapid and aggressive treatments for trauma related injuries significantly impacts patient outcomes. Make sure that you’re calling 911.”
The health and safety of our patients and caregivers remains our top priority, and we want to assure patients that our facility is safe for them to receive care. For nearly two months, Phelps Memorial Health Center has taken steps to increase safety by limiting visitors and screening them for potential COVID-19 symptoms, providing personal protective equipment for caregivers, and practicing physical distancing. For the safety of our patients and staff, Phelps Memorial does not allow visitors at this time with the following exceptions:
One support person for:
- patients undergoing procedures that require sedation
- oncology patients
- specialty clinic patients
- obstetrics patients
- patients unable to communicate on their own
At Phelps Memorial, we are prepared to take care of you and your loved ones with your safety as our highest priority. Don’t be afraid to call 911 or get treatment at the hospital. Calling 911 is the fastest way to get immediate medical attention and the best chance of surviving or saving a life.
Mrs. Luthy said, “Though our protocols and procedures may look a little different moving forward, please rest assured our compassion and ability to care for you has not changed.”
Katie Luthy, PA-C, Phelps Memorial Health Center, is dressed in personal protective equipment. Emergency room visits have declined during the current pandemic. Many individuals are avoiding or delaying care due to this, which is not recommended. As an emergency room provider, Mrs. Luthy urges individuals dealing with medical emergencies to seek emergent care at the hospital. The health and safety of patients and caregivers is a top priority at Phelps Memorial.