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Think Twice Before Visiting Emergency Department - Emergency Room Or Walk-in-Center?

With the average emergency department wait time in Florida at four hours. Lee Memorial Health System wants to help you make the best decision about where to seek medical care for yourself and your family.

"Nobody should have to wait that long for care, so our goal is to help patients identify when they should and should not visit an emergency department," says emergency physician Ed Salko, D.O.

Emergency care is appropriate when you have:

  • unusually severe symptoms that you believe to be an emergency
  • life-threatening illness or injury
  • a minor emergency but do not have access to a doctor or a walk-in center

Patients who arrive at the emergency department with a life-threatening injury or condition are taken directly to the treatment area for immediate care. Emergency Department nurses then triage other patients to determine their levels of illness.

Triage is a system of assigning priorities of treatment for patients based on the extent of each patient's condition, disease or degree of injury and ensures that patients get the right care at the right time.

During the triage process, a nurse will ask you several questions related to your symptoms and do a basic evaluation that includes taking your temperature and checking your blood pressure and pulse.

The nurse will then categorize you into levels from 1 (most urgent) to 5 (least urgent) on the basis of acuity and resource needs.

"That means a patient with an ear infection may have to wait longer than a patient experiencing symptoms of a heart attack, even if the patient with the ear infection came in first," says Dr. Salko. "The reason is that the first hour after the onset of an acute illness or critical injury is a vital life-saving window of opportunity."

To avoid long delays, LMHS emergency physicians would like to encourage patients with non-critical illnesses or injuries to seek care at a walk-in or urgent care center.

Walk-in medical centers, such as Lee Convenient Care, provide quality, cost-efficient care in a short time frame for both children and adults. They are open during the day and have extended evening and weekend hours.

Walk-in care is appropriate when:

  • your primary care doctor is unavailable, or you do not have a regular doctor
  • you have an illness or injury that is not life-threatening and needs prompt care
  • you have routine health issues

For more information about walk-in care, click here.

 
WHEN AND WHERE TO SEEK MEDICAL CARE

LEE CONVENIENT CARE LOCATIONS AND HOURS

Primary Care Physician,

Walk-In Medical Center or

Urgent Care Center

- Routine Primary Care or

Non-Urgent Sick Visit -

  • Physical examinations

  • Health screening tests

  • Acute and chronic disorders

  • Sore throat, nasal congestion, flu

  • Ear infection

  • Coughs/colds

  • Stomach ache/nausea

  • Infections

  • Rashes

  • Minor cuts, bruises or injuries

  • Abrasions

  • Lacerations

  • Fractures

  • Sprains

Emergency Department

- An acute life-threatening illness or injury that could endanger one's health or result in serious body harm or dysfunction if not treated immediately -

  • Chest pain or irregular heartbeat

  • Uncontrolled bleeding

  • Sudden or severe pain

  • Coughing up blood or vomiting blood

  • Difficulty breathing, shortness of breath

  • Sudden dizziness, weakness or change in vision

  • Weakness or numbness in arm or leg

  • Severe or persistent vomiting or diarrhea

  • Change in mental status

  • Allergic reactions with difficulty breathing

Lee Convenient Care - Page Field

Seven days a week

7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

4771 S. Cleveland Ave.

Fort Myers, FL  33907

Phone: 239-343-9800

 

 

Lee Convenient Care - Cape Coral

Seven days a week

7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

1682 NE Pine Island Road

Cape Coral, FL  33909

Phone: 239-424-1655

 

 

Lee Convenient Care - North

Monday-Friday

7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

13279 N. Cleveland Ave.

Fort Myers, FL  33903

Phone: 239-997-9733

 

 

 

 

 

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