You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘Emergency Room’ category.
Nobody wants to get sick, especially if it can be avoided. And because there has been a nationwide increase of Salmonella infections, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is collaborating with several other entities including, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and others to investigate this increase. The good news is that there are some things you can do to protect yourself.
To give you some background, Salmonella is a group of illness-causing bacteria that mostly live in the intestinal tracts of animals and birds that can be transmitted to humans by contaminated foods of animal origin such as beef, poultry, milk, or eggs. However, any food, including vegetables, may become contaminated. For example, one type of bacteria known as Salmonella Enteritidis can be found on both the outside and inside of eggs even if they appear normal. If the eggs are eaten raw or undercooked, it can cause illness.
If you are infected with Salmonella, symptoms will usually appear 12-72 hours after consuming the contaminated food or beverage with the illness lasting 4-7 days. Common symptoms include: fever, abdominal cramps, and diarrhea. Most people do recover without antibiotic treatment; however, if the diarrhea is severe, the fever cannot be controlled, or a sick person is not able to keep adequately hydrated with fluids, you should seek medical attention. Infants, the elderly, and those with a weakened immune system are more vulnerable to severe illness and should be treated promptly with antibiotics.
Here are some tips to reduce your risk of a Salmonella infection:
• Avoid eating undercooked eggs, poultry, or meat
• Keep eggs, meat, and poultry products refrigerated
• Discard cracked or dirty eggs
• Wash hands and cooking utensils with soap and water after contact with raw eggs, meat, or poultry
• Avoid consuming raw or unpasteurized milk or other dairy products
• Thoroughly wash produce
In addition, Salmonella can be found in the feces of some pets, especially turtles, lizards, snakes, young birds and those with diarrhea. It is possible to become infected by not properly washing your hands after contact with pets or pet feces, so always be sure to wash your hands immediately after handling a reptile or bird, even if the animal is healthy.
For more information, visit the CDC website: http://www.cdc.gov/
Answer submitted by Sue Quirin, RN, BSN, CIC, Infection Control Practitioner at Provena Mercy Medical Center Behavioral Health Services.
All emergency departments have peak times when there is potential for waiting. Provena Mercy Medical Center has a goal to get patients to be seen in the shortest amount of time possible. Sometimes unexpected surges in the number of patients arriving or patient’s critical conditions may increase waiting times. There are also ambulances bringing patients in the back which you would not see in the Emergency department waiting room. Critical patients always go first. The role of the triage RN is to prioritize and get the sickest patients seen first. This is sometimes when you may see a patient go ahead you or “out of order” of arrival.
Shortening the overall time spent in the ER is good for the patient. No matter what your condition is, you will see a triage nurse in less than 15 minutes. At Provena Mercy, our goal is to move patients back to open rooms immediately upon presenting themselves to the ER. We have two areas in our emergency department that we regularly see patients. One is the main emergency room (for the sickest or more complicated patients) the other is what we call Fast Track (patients with less complicated or most likely will not require an admission). Fast track patients should experience about a 60 minute visit. This area is open 10:00 AM to 10:00 PM. There are criteria for sorting patients based on condition and vital signs that will determine where the most appropriate place is for any patient to be treated in. Thank you for your question and I hope you will consider Provena Mercy Medical Center for your healthcare needs.
Answer submitted by Barb Douglas RN, BSN, MBA, Director of Provena Mercy Medical Center Emergency Department.