Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Your father is having chest pains. Your daughter breaks her leg. You suddenly develop the worst headache you’ve ever had. When an accident or illness strikes, are you confident when seeking emergency care? Same-Day Surgery to Meet Your Needs The Ambulatory Care Center at Summerville Medical Center has four state-of-the-art operating rooms and two endoscopy rooms, and the department offers general, orthopedic, ear/nose/throat, podiatry and obstetrical/gynecological surgical services. The Ambulatory Care Center at Trident Medical Center has 12 state-of-the-art operating rooms and four endoscopy suites, and offers all of the services available at Summerville Medical Center plus the da Vinci robot for gynecological and urological procedures. “Minimally invasive surgeries result in less post-operative pain and faster recovery,” says Lynn Singleton, chief nursing officer at Summerville Medical Center. “These outpatient procedures make our medical services even more convenient and efficient for members of our community.” Hospital emergency room (ER) use is increasing across the country, and recent reports indicate more than half of those who seek care from hospital ERs have non-life-threatening problems such as earaches or sore throats. The benefits of visiting the ER only during a true emergency include cost savings for you and respect for the need to keep physicians and staff available for patients whose lives are truly in danger. “Emergency” Defined A true emergency is any medical condition that is acute and poses an immediate threat to your life or long-term health. If the condition is sudden and extremely painful, seek immediate emergency treatment. “The emergent situations we see most often include patients experiencing ill-defined abdominal or chest pain and trauma-related incidents like car wrecks,” says Baird Oldfield, MD, board-certified emergency medicine physician and medical director of Trident Health System emergency services. “Our emergency physicians and staff are trained to handle a broad spectrum of injuries and illnesses.” When you arrive at the ER, a triage registered nurse will check your vital signs and determine the severity of your symptoms. Patients with the most urgent needs receive the most immediate care. An ER visit can take time due to the need to wait for test results, monitor your condition and watch for any potential reactions to medication. Following diagnosis, you will receive appropriate treatment and education on your condition. If you need inpatient care, you may be admitted to the hospital directly from the ER. For non-emergency care, a visit to a hospital ER can be more expensive and is likely to take longer than an appointment with a primary care physician. When emergency care is called for, however, your hospital ER is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, with specialists available on call to respond as needed. In a medical emergency, call 9-1-1. Trident Health System has implemented the Triage Biosite“ Cardiac System to accelerate diagnosis of patients with suspected heart attacks.
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