“We are seeing not only here, but across the nation, that patients are coming to the Emergency Department with delayed and more serious presentations of disease,” said Dr. Hadi Shaaban, newly named Trauma Medical Director, OSF Saint Anthony. “Conditions like strokes, heart attacks and appendicitis are all time-dependent situations and should be treated as soon as possible. These types of situations could have fatal consequences if ignored, which is why it is imperative for people to not avoid coming to the ED if they need treatment.”
Dr. Hadi Shaaban says there are a variety of safety precautions in place to help protect all patients and Mission Partners (employees) who visit or work in the emergency department (ED). All OSF emergency departments have made sure they can safely treat all patients by screening and isolating any patients believed to be at risk of COVID-19.
By keeping patients separated and using personal protective equipment (PPE) such as masks, emergency rooms are still a safe and necessary destination for those in need of immediate medical care. Aside from the proper PPE, there are also strict guidelines in place to make sure all areas of the ED are clean and safe.
“Keeping our patients safe is a number one priority at all times, not just during this pandemic,” said Dr. Shaaban. “We have protocols in place for cleaning and disinfecting all areas of the hospital, but especially rooms where we may have had a COVID-19 positive patient. We are the Critical Care experts in the Rockford area and rest assured that we will provide you with the safest and greatest care available.”
Know the Signs
Knowing when to seek help is the first step toward recovering from a medical emergency.
Classic heart attack symptoms include:
Chest pain during exertion
Shortness of breath
Heart attack pain will typically start in your chest and radiate into your left arm or jaw.
To recognize symptoms of a stroke, remember the acronym BE FAST.
Balance – Watch for a sudden loss of balance.
Eyes – Is there a sudden loss of vision in one or both eyes? Or double vision?
Face – Ask the person to smile or show their teeth. Does one side of the face droop?
Arm – Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
Speech – Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence. Do they slur their words? Do they repeat the sentence incorrectly?
Time to call 911 – If a person shows any of these symptoms, get to the hospital as quickly as possible.
If you’re experiencing a medical emergency such as heart attack or stroke, never drive yourself to the emergency room. The fastest and safest way to get the care you need is by calling 911.