Late Fall 2011
Is it a Hospital Emergency?

Chances are, you know how to handle basic first aid at home. You have ice packs for head bonks, bandages in various sizes for minor scrapes and cuts and over-the-counter medicine for fevers and headaches. You also know that you should call 9-1-1 if you or a loved one shows signs of a heart attack or stroke. But what about all the concerns that fall in between, like deep gashes, high fevers and broken bones?

“When you or a loved one is injured or sick, it is most important to see a doctor sooner rather than later,” says Bridgeport Hospital Chairman of Emergency Medicine Michael Werdmann, MD. “If the injury or illness can’t wait for an appointment, an Urgent Care Center or Walk-in Medical Center is an immediate way to get medical attention. If the physicians there determine that the situation should be handled at the hospital, they will call an ambulance to bring the patient to the Emergency Department.” Two exceptions, he says, are the elderly and small children. “Parents know their children best,” says Dr. Werdmann. “If a parent is very concerned, it may be better to go directly to the hospital.”

Here are some guidelines to help determine where to go for certain injuries and illnesses.

Go Directly to the Emergency Department
(don’t hesitate to call 9-1-1) for:
  • Severe abdominal pain
  • Allergic reactions that are progressing rapidly or are associated with any breathing or swallowing trouble
  • Amputated fingers, toes and other extremities
  • Bleeding that does not stop after applying pressure for 10 minutes; bleeding in an elderly person or if the person takes a blood thinning medication such as Coumadin
  • Burns larger than the person’s palm that look gray or white; burns that go all the way around an area, such as a wrist, arm, leg, etc.
  • Chest pain or pressure
  • Coughing up or vomiting blood
  • Deformed extremity (an arm, leg, etc.) or body part that suddenly “doesn’t look right”
  • Suspected dehydration
  • Sudden severe headache
  • Suspected heart attack
  • Poison ingestion
  • Signs of stroke (sudden weakness or numbness on one side of the body or face, sudden speech difficulties, trouble seeing, sudden headache, dizziness)
  • Severe vomiting or diarrhea, especially if blood is present

An Urgent Care Center or Walk-in Center*
Can Likely Meet Your Needs for:
  • Bee stings, if no wheezing
  • Bleeding that stops within 10 minutes
  • Broken bones, X-rays
  • Burns that are smaller than the person’s palm and look red
  • Cold and flu symptoms
  • Ear infection and ear pain
  • Headache that has been ongoing (not sudden onset)
  • High fever (104 °F and under)
  • Long-lasting cough
  • Mild abdominal pain
  • Nausea
  • Nosebleeds or any bleeding, except if the person is elderly or takes a blood thinner medication such as Coumadin
  • Rashes, red patches and bumps on the skin
  • Sprains
  • Stitches
  • Suspected concussion
  • Suspected tick bite
  • Vomiting
  • Warts
*
Fairfield Urgent Care Center
309 Stillson Road, Fairfield
Phone: 203-331-1924

Huntington Walk-in Medical Center
887 Bridgeport Avenue, Shelton
Phone: 203-225-6020

Hours: Monday-Friday, 8:00 a.m.–8:00 p.m.
Saturday & Sunday, 9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

No appointment necessary.