If you think you may be experiencing a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or 911.
Fast Track Services
At St. Lucie Medical Center, our goal is to put you at ease and help you receive the best emergency treatment possible in the shortest period of time. In addition to a full range of Emergency Services, St. Lucie Medical Center also offers Fast Track Services between the hours of 10a.m. to 10p.m. to handle less urgent cases. Fast Track Services is a special area in the ER designed to get you treated and out without slowing down the care to more critically ill patients.
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.
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.
Preparing for a Trip to the ER
Visiting the emergency room isn’t something that anyone plans, but patients can take steps to make the experience less stressful and to help their medical team deliver the best care possible.
- Keep a running list of any current medications. If possible, bring them along in a bag. This step allows emergency personnel to examine doses and gives patients access to medications they may need while they wait.
- Understand how the ER works. Patients are seen based on the urgency of their condition, rather than in the order they arrive. Be prepared to wait a bit during peak times if your condition isn’t life threatening.
- Bring a book, magazine or other unobtrusive form of entertainment for yourself and anyone who accompanies you. Remember that cell phone use is often discouraged or even prohibited in the emergency room, so it’s not a good time to catch up with old friends or respond to voicemails.
- Keep a hospital bag ready for chronically ill family members. The bag should include detailed medical history, including an up-to-date list of medications. It could also include a change of clothes, a toothbrush, and other creature comforts in case the patient is admitted to the hospital. An overnight bag may also be handy for caregivers.
- If you suspect that someone has been poisoned, bring the poisonous substance along if possible. Reading the ingredients can help the emergency team determine the best treatment options.
- On the way to the hospital, contact your regular doctor and alert them of the problem. This can make it easier for the emergency team to contact him or her if necessary, to get details about medical history.
- Get an ICE card to leave in your purse or wallet. Many hospitals now provide these for free. They can be vital if you are injured and cannot give directions regarding your own care.
St. Lucie Medical Center offers fast, reliable medical treatment in its ER every day. Learn more about St. Lucie’s Emergency department by visiting us online or calling 1-866-4-HCA-DOCS.