Summer in the emergency department


Summer brings sunshine, hot days and a lot of fun to be had outdoors.

But it's also the time of year when visits to the emergency department spike, sending many to seek medical treatment, some with serious conditions. "Throughout the year, but especially in the summer, we see patients with cardiac and neurological conditions and traumatic injuries," said Dr. Julie Lata, an emergency medicine physician at McLaren Macomb. "These are severe cases that patients should absolutely seek treatment for in an emergency department setting."

The summer heat coupled with physical exertion can affect people in many ways"“often their cardiac and neurological health, potentially leading to something more severe. And there is always the chance for traumatic injury.

While non-emergent patients have a choice, with some opting for convenience of nearby treatment centers to avoid an emergency department visit, many common conditions must be treated in an emergency department.

"An emergency department has access to specialized equipment and skilled specialists to thoroughly evaluate each patient, provide treatment and make sure their complaints aren't symptomatic of something more serious," Dr. Lata said.

Symptoms that should be reported to (and treated in) the emergency department are:
"¢ Severe headaches
"¢ Seizures
"¢ Confusion
"¢ Difficulty breathing
"¢ Head trauma and any loss of consciousness
"¢ Chest pain
"¢ Broken bones
"¢ Dehydration
"¢ Severe wounds

For medical emergencies, dial 911. To learn more about emergency care at McLaren Macomb, visit mclaren.org/macombER.