Be Ready for Summer Emergencies

Author: Leslie Toldo

If you had to go to the emergency room right now, would you be prepared? The truth is, emergencies can happen at any moment, anywhere.  Car and bicycle accidents, heart attacks, sports and other serious injuries are not planned events, but taking a little time to plan for the unexpected could take a lot of the stress out of the experience.

“There are a few steps everyone can take right now that will not only relieve their own anxiety if the worst happens, but can make it easier for first responders to do their jobs,” says McLaren Flint Chief of Staff and Emergency Department Director Dr. Raymond Rudoni.

That means doing something as simple as making a list of your health care providers and any medications you take, along with dosing information.

“You’d be surprised how many people don’t know what medications they are on. Store that in your phone,” said Dr. Rudoni. “It can be as simple as taking pictures of your meds and your doctors’ cards.”

Your odds of having an emergency are a little higher in the summer months, according to the Pew Research Center.  In fact, Pew reports that on July 4 and 5, an average of 45 thousand people visit hospital emergency rooms across the country. 

“We see a lot of injuries from accidents, drownings, alcohol and fireworks, as well as heat stroke, during the summer months,” Dr. Rudoni said.

Those injuries are in addition to a steady stream of stroke and heart attack patients Dr. Rudoni’s department sees on an average summer day.  McLaren Flint provides the only comprehensive stroke program in the area, which can make for a particularly active emergency department on any given day.

“The benefit of McLaren’s Comprehensive Stroke Center is a loyal, cohesive clinical, and collaborative team dedicated to a higher standard of clinical service and ready anytime a stroke may affect someone you know,” said stroke program coordinator Connie LaPoint.  “McLaren Flint’s Comprehensive Stroke Center provides advanced treatments for stroke, including clot busting medication and advanced surgical techniques to minimize long term problems related to stroke."

Stroke, heart attack, and trauma patients take priority in any emergency room, as patients go through the triage process. 

“The word triage is French, and means sorting due to severity,” Dr. Rudoni said. “The higher severity patients are always seen first.”

McLaren has two emergency departments in Genesee County, one in Flint and one in Fenton.  McLaren’s Fenton ER has one of the highest Press Ganey patient satisfaction scores in the United States. Both the McLaren Flint and McLaren Fenton ERs offer online check-in for those with non-life-threatening conditions, which allows patients to reserve a spot in line in the emergency room.  Just visit