Halton Healthcare Advises Residents To Prepare for an Emergency Room Visit

By: Laura Steiner, Local Journalism Initiative
Emergency Departments can get busy this time of year. The staff at Halton Healthcare are looking to help area residents avoid an unnecessary trip the Emergency Department brought on by the closure of walk-in clinics and doctors’ offices with a few reminders.
“We treat patients based on the severity of their condition, rather than on the time of their arrival, Georgetown Hospital Emergency Department Medical Director  Dr. Kelly Williams said.  This means patients with life-threatening conditions such as head injuries, seizures, extensive bleeding or cardiac events would be seen first.
They’d advise planning ahead to avoid them where possible.  “Talk to your family doctor and pharmacist and find out about their holiday hours, renew your prescriptions in advance, and stock up on all your medical supplies,” Milton Hospital Emergency Department Medical Director Dr. Salman Khalid said.  Halton Healthcare offers a checklist through their website.  “We are always here for you if you are experiencing a medical emergency.  However, another healthcare option may get you the care you need more quickly if your condition is not an emergency,” Oakville Trafalgar Memorial Hospital (OTMH) Emergency Chief Dr. Keith Martin said.  Other resources include a walk-in clinic, pharmacist, or Telehealth Ontario.
If you are visiting an Emergency department, remember to bring your health card, along with a full list of current medications, as well as any other healthcare information.  “The Emergency medical team benefits from knowing your medical history and current medications.  This information helps them have a fuller picture of your long-term health,”  Halton Healthcare Senior Vice President Cindy McDonnell said.  If you’re coming with a child or baby, McDonnell suggests bringing bottles, blankets, toys and activities to keep them busy.
Staff, volunteers at Halton Healthcare wish everyone a safe and happy holiday, and thank you for your  continued patience, understanding, and kindness.