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Don’t Delay Emergency Care: The Importance of Seeking Care for Urgent Needs

Phelps Health ambulance

Published on August 10, 2020

Staying healthy for you and your loved ones has always been important, even before the COVID-19 pandemic. When you need medical care, you should never delay.

Phelps Health is open, safe and ready to care for your healthcare needs, especially if you require urgent care.

“If you are a patient who is experiencing chest pains or other symptoms of a stroke or heart attack, don’t delay getting care,” said Ryan McKee, director of emergency services at Phelps Health. “It is more detrimental to your overall health if you wait to receive care because you don’t want to be exposed to a disease or other potential illness. Emergent issues are time sensitive, and if you don’t go to the emergency room in a timely manner, there is a higher likelihood of larger health issues arising as a result of delaying care."

For patients with symptoms of a stroke or heart attack, being treated quickly can improve their chances of recovery.

A stroke happens when brain arteries rupture or when a blood clot cuts off blood supply to part of the brain. The longer the brain goes without fresh blood and oxygen, the more brain cells die, causing irreversible damage.

The same is true for a heart attack. The longer a patient waits to receive care, the more heart muscle dies.

“Patients are deciding not to seek emergency care, which is very dangerous,” McKee said. “If someone is sitting at home and they start to feel tingling in their side and they just don’t feel normal, but they don’t want to risk going to the hospital because of the fear of being exposed to something, they’re putting their lives at risk.”

For anyone who is experiencing an emergency, minor or major, Phelps Health has taken extra precautions to ensure that patients are safe and comfortable when they come in for care.

“We don’t want people to delay their care right now, or ever,” said McKee. “We are here for our patients and are doing everything we can to protect them. Our goal is to treat patients in a safe manner, get them better and get them back to their lives as soon as possible.”

For patients arriving at the Emergency Department, Phelps Health has implemented safety procedures to keep them safe and protect its staff. Procedures include a general wellness screening, universal masking and hand hygiene stations.

Anyone who needs to seek care for a medical emergency should feel safe to do so. Medical emergencies can include the following:

  • Accidents
  • Coughing up or vomiting blood
  • Head injury or any other major injury
  • Heart attack symptoms (tightness in the chest and arm, shortness of breath, nausea, lightheadedness)
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Poisoning or drug overdose
  • Severe burns
  • Severe COVID-19 symptoms, including shortness of breath
  • Severe, persistent abdominal pain
  • Stroke symptoms (facial droop, arm weakness, speech difficulties)
  • Suicidal feelings

Emergency Care, When You Need It

Learn more about seeking emergency care at Phelps Health.

Found in: Care Emergency Emergency Medical Service Health Services