If you think you may be experiencing a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or 911.
About Our Emergency Department
Lawnwood Regional Medical Center's Emergency Department offers service 24-hours a day, seven days a week, to patients of all ages. Responsible for the immediate treatment of any medical or surgical emergency or for initiating life-saving procedures, our medical and nursing staff are specially-trained and bring the experience needed to deal with your medical crises.
As a Joint Commission approved and designated Primary Stroke Center, Lawnwood's emergency services staff are specially prepared to take care of stroke patients using the latest in protocols and treatment. And the hospital's Heart Institute provides the necessary services for heart attack patients needing everything from diagnostic catheterizations to open-heart surgery.
When Is It Really an Emergency?
It can be difficult to decide when it’s time to go to an emergency room, and many patients may be reluctant to go. But emergency care saves countless lives every year. When should you go to the emergency room? The American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) suggests that patients come to the emergency room if they experience the following symptoms:
- Abnormal breathing or shortness of breath
- Pressure or pain in the upper abdomen or chest
- Sudden dizziness, weakness, or fainting
- Abrupt loss of vision, in one or both eyes
- Sudden confusion or change in mental state
- Bleeding that cannot be stopped
- Persistent or severe diarrhea and/or vomiting
- Vomiting or coughing blood
- Trouble speaking
- Sudden paralysis in the face or limbs, especially on one side of the body
- Unusual pain in the abdomen
- Head injury that causes vomiting, confusion, or unconsciousness
Children may also have additional symptoms that merit a trip to the emergency room. If the above symptoms occur in children, they should be taken to the emergency room. Additionally, children should go to the ER for the following conditions:
- Burns that are discolored, deep, or larger than the child’s palm
- Chemical burns
- Fever accompanied by rash or neck stiffness
- Fever higher than 100.4 degrees in infants less than three months old
- Drastic changes in behavior, including sudden irritability or mood swings
- Inability to stand or walk
- Lips or skin that look grey, blue, or purple
- Difficulty eating, drinking, or feeding
- Delirium, confusion, or excessive sleepiness
If you believe that the medical condition is unstable or will worsen on the way to the hospital, call 911 immediately.
Why Do ER Wait Times Change?
Here at Lawnwood Regional Medical Center and Heart Institute, we’re proud to deliver fast, compassionate emergency care. We also know that patients don’t come to the ER to wait, and that’s why we strive to keep our ER wait times as low as possible.Sometimes those wait times advertised on billboards and our website change. But what causes those changes?
The Triage Process
When you go to the doctor, you usually have an appointment for a certain time and you generally show up shortly before the appointment. Therefore patients are usually seen in the same order as they arrive. But in the emergency room, patients are seen based on the urgency of their condition.
When a patient arrives at the emergency room, she first signs in with a triage nurse. The triage nurse determines how serious the patient’s medical condition is. If a patient arrives with a life threatening injury or illness, that patient will receive care right away. Patients who have less serious conditions may have to wait while these seriously endangered patients get the care they need. Patients who are suffering heart attacks, stroke, traumatic brain injuries, and other severe conditions have a limited time to get life-saving care, so they get first priority.
Minimizing Wait Times
We believe that no patient should have to wait too long for exceptional medical care, so we’ve made shorter ER wait times a top priority. In addition to having dedicated trauma and cardiac catheterization teams on staff, we also offer urgent care bays for patients with less serious health concerns. Meanwhile, our emergency care team works closely with our EMS partners to seamlessly provide great care.
Emergency Department Renovation
In 2006 Lawnwood invested $12 million in expanding its Emergency Department to provide three times the space and twice the capacity as previously offered. With over 44,000 patients per year currently seen in the ED, the new facility is designed to accomodate up to 70,000 patients per year. Whether your emergency is major or minor, Lawnwood's Emergency Department is waiting to serve you.
Need help finding a physician?
For routine health matters and check-ups, contact your primary care physician. Regular check-ups with a primary care physician is the best way to maintain good health.