It is very important that we manage health care resources effectively. It is also very important not to contaminate hospitals, clinics, and health care workers during COVID-19.
I am told there are many people presenting at the Raymond Hospital Emergency department for care. These people are coming in with coughs, colds, and worries about COVID-19.
They are ignoring posted instructions not to enter the department, but to wait for someone to assess them.
Please understand: if you are in respiratory distress, or serious trouble, we want to see you.
Otherwise, if you walk into our hospital, you are not masked until you get to the front desk. That risks contaminating other patients, in-patients, the facility, and health care workers. We can’t afford to take doctors and nurses out of service for two weeks right now.
If you have a cough or a cold: we can’t do anything for you. There is no cure, no treatment. The only exception is if you are having trouble breathing. You need to self-isolate. Treat symptoms with over-the-counter remedies. Your pharmacist can help.
If you have COVID-19: there is nothing we can do for you unless you need oxygen or intubation. There is no treatment. There is nothing that will make you feel better. You need to self-isolate. Treat symptoms.
Please be smart. This is going to get worse before it gets better.
What I’m giving here are general principles, not medical advice. For that, you need someone to speak to your specific situation.
If you are in distress, call 911. That’s the fastest way to get help.
Otherwise, call 811, and do what they tell you.
We’re always open for genuine emergencies. But people need to think very clearly about what constitutes an emergency.
What if my child has a possible ear infection?
In kids greater than 2 years old, 85% of true ear infections (otitis media) resolve within 48 hours even without treatment. There’s very little evidence that treatment in those first 48 hours will shorten the course of the illness. If no other symptoms, follow-up with family doc is a safe option.
What if my kid or I think we have strep throat?
Treatment for strep throat shortens the course only by 12-24 hours at most. The only thing reliably helped by treatment is prevention of heart problems from strep, and it takes more than 10 days for that to even be a theoretical risk. If no other issues, follow-up with family doc.