News

Emergency Room safety in the age of COVID-19

Dr. Jay St. John
Emergency Room safety in the age of COVID-19

Have you put off necessary health care because you were worried about exposure to COVID-19? Delaying care is always a bad idea when it comes to medical emergencies.

Thankfully, you have less to worry about than you might think: Medical facilities have taken drastic steps to boost patient and staff safety in response to the pandemic. When you need to visit an emergency room (ER), you are likely to find several new procedures and policies in place.

Updated Safety Protocols

Following guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), medical facilities are adopting infection control protocols such as:

  • Practicing social distancing when possible
  • Washing hands often
  • Sanitizing patient and public spaces and frequently disinfecting high-touch surfaces
  • Outfitting providers in personal protective equipment, including gloves and masks

In addition, hospitals are screening staff, patients, and visitors for COVID-19 before they can enter the ER. Screening involves having your temperature taken and answering questions about symptoms. Individuals who have COVID-19 symptoms are treated in a separate area of the hospital.

Learn more about what we're doing to keep you safe >>

When to Seek Emergency Care

You might think symptoms like dizziness or chest pain aren’t a big deal, but be careful—they could signal a heart attack or stroke.

Don’t delay care if you have any of the following symptoms:

  • Serious injuries like head trauma or burns
  • Bleeding that can’t be stopped
  • Severe pain
  • Choking
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Dizziness or weakness that comes on suddenly
  • Chest pain
  • Difficulty walking
  • Vomiting or coughing up blood
  • Diarrhea or vomiting that won’t stop
  • Major changes in behavior, such as confusion

Take care. Seek care.

With separate COVID and non-COVID Emergency Rooms and instant door-to-doctor patient flow, Touro is ready to care for you in a safe environment. Learn more at touro.com/emergency