(O’FALLON, IL) – Heart attacks, strokes, accidents and injuries: These are just a few examples of medical emergencies that can occur at any time, in any place and to anyone – even in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

HSHS St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in O’Fallon reminds all area communities it is open and available to provide all types of emergency medical care, 24/7, regardless of the current public health crisis.

recent report from the American College of Emergency Physicians states some emergency departments across the country are seeing a reduction in patient volumes, as well as patients delaying seeking medical care for non-COVID-19 related emergencies – potentially due to patients being concerned about contracting COVID-19 during a hospital visit or overwhelming health care workers.

“We urge our community members to never forgo or delay seeking medical care for any type of emergency, even in the midst of a pandemic,” says Dr. Jeff Shafer, emergency medicine physician and director of St. Elizabeth’s emergency department and EMS. “We have highly-skilled, compassionate providers ready to care for you and protocols in place to prevent the spread of all infectious diseases, including COVID-19.”

Trust in the health care system is a high priority for patients to feel comfortable that they are receiving quality care when they seek medical attention.

St. Elizabeth’s Hospital President and CEO Patti Fischer notes, “As we all cope with this challenging pandemic, I am confident of our colleagues’ commitment to deliver extraordinary care in our country’s time of need.”

The following are some examples of symptoms/incidents in which a trip to the emergency department or call to 911 would be necessary: 

  • Difficulty breathing, shortness of breath

  • Chest or upper abdominal pain or pressure

  • Severe abdominal pain

  • Bleeding that will not stop

  • Fainting, sudden dizziness, weakness

  • Sudden changes in vision

  • Sudden confusion

  • Injury due to accident, burns or smoke inhalation, near drowning, deep or large wounds or other serious injuries

  • Choking

  • Difficulty speaking

  • Coughing or vomiting blood

  • Head or spine injury

Media Contact

Kelly Barbeau

Manager, Marketing & Communications
HSHS Illinois
Office: (618) 234-2120, Ext. 41270
kelly.barbeau@hshs.org

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