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 any one – even in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

HSHS St. Joseph's and Sacred Heart hospitals remind all area communities that the emergency departments are open and available to provide all types of emergent medical care, 24/7, regardless of the current public health crisis. 

A 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. Ken Johnson, emergency medicine physician for HSHS Sacred Heart and St. Joseph’s Hospitals. “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.” 

The following are some examples of symptoms/incidents in which a trip to the emergency department or call to 911 is 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 visionSudden 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

Karen Kraus

Communications Department
HSHS Wisconsin
Office: (715) 717-4747
Cell: (715) 717-4256
Karen.Kraus@hshs.org

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