Tulsa Doctors Ease Concerns Over Going To The Emergency Room


Tuesday, April 14th 2020, 5:17 pm
By: Amelia Mugavero


Hospitals across the nation are urging people not go to emergency rooms unless it’s for critical emergencies. Saint Francis Hospital in Tulsa say many patients are taking that warning too far.

Ryan Parker is the assistant medical director in the emergency department. Parker said doctors were shocked by how many people ended up in the ER fighting for their lives this weekend.

"We have had a lot of people who have had a chronic illness. When you are feeling chest pain or your blood sugar is super high, we still need to take that seriously and it is still an emergency," Dr. Parker said.

She said over the weekend, several patients were rushed to the ER in critical condition at all their campuses. She said they didn't call 9-1-1 because they thought they had to stay home.  Parker said the hospital is still helping with all emergencies, and it is safe even with COVID-19 patients. 

"We want to make people aware that our ED's are cohered, they are safe, we have COVID patients in one area," Parker explained. 

Doctor Michael Spain said patients also have the option of video calling their doctors for non-emergency visits. "We are doing over 100 video visits a day in our office, I did 10 this morning," Dr. Spain explained. "We are being able to stay in touch with them and it’s nice to see them rather than just talking on the telephone, we get a better sense if they are doing well or not just by watching them," Spain said. 

Under President Trump’s leadership, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has broadened access to Medicare telehealth services so that beneficiaries can receive a wider range of services from their doctors without having to travel to a healthcare facility.

To set up a video visit all you have to do is call the office, set up an appointment, then call you doctor and have your appointment right on your phone. Spain thinks the coronavirus pandemic is shaping the future modern medicine.

"That's been revolutionary, and I think this is going to be here to stay," said Spain.

If you do come to the hospital, medical staff want people to know their hospitals are prepared for patients.

"It is not the chaotic and scary scene you see in New York," Parker said, "and we are prepared, and it is safe to come to the hospital,” Spain said.

Doctors say you can still use 911. If you plan to drive yourself to the hospital and you have respiratory issues. Doctors just ask you call the emergency center in advance.

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