Sunday, February 28, 2021

CKHA reminds residents to seek emergency care when needed

The Chatham-Kent Health Alliance (CKHA) is reminding residents to continue to access their emergency departments, in Wallaceburg and Chatham, for the care that cannot wait.

Hospital officials say local emergency departments remain safe places for individuals to go for acute care services.

Hospital emergency departments, cancer services, and urgent and emergent diagnostic imaging (such as x-ray, MRI, ultrasound) and critical surgical services continue to be provided, hospital officials said.

Emergency Medical Services (EMS) also continue to meet patient needs in the community.

If people feel unwell and think they require urgent or emergent care, call 911 or go to a hospital emergency department, CKHA officials added.

Medical professionals are there to care for people, just as they were before the COVID-19 pandemic.

CKHA officials say hospitals have taken precautions to ensure a safe care environment for all patients and staff.

These steps include: enhancing screening of patients to ensure the right precautions are being taken, increased cleaning of the care environment and equipment, ensuring staff are wearing appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE), and limiting visitors within the hospital.

“Emergency Departments and Ambulance Services are for life or limb threatening symptoms,” stated Dr. Dax Biondi, chief and program medical director of emergency medicine at the CKHA.

“To name a few, people with chest pain, new or worse shortness of breath, stroke-like symptoms or bad accidents should go to emergency. But, I encourage the public to first contact their family doctor or specialist for all non-emergency symptoms. New symptoms do not necessarily mean there is an emergency. Consider calling your family doctor or nurse practitioner to see what they think. Many of their offices are open for business. If you are not sure, the Emergency Department is here for you, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.”

Hospital officials say for everyday health needs, patients can access primary care virtually through their family physician or through a virtual walk in clinic.

Assessment Centres for COVID-19 are in place at locations across the Erie St. Clair Region.

These sites provide in-person assessment for individuals presenting with a symptom consistent with COVID-19 or for anyone who is concerned they have been exposed to COVID-19.

A referral from a physician, nurse practitioner, or telehealth is no longer required.

Assessment Centres are located at:

– Windsor Regional Hospital, Met Campus

– Erie Shores Healthcare

– Chatham-Kent Health Alliance, Chatham Site

– Bluewater Health, Sarnia and Petrolia Campuses

Information on symptoms, as well as self-assessment can be found at https://www.ontario.ca/page/covid-19-stop-spread.

For more information on the Emergency Department or on local Assessment Clinics, please visit www.ckha.on.ca.

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