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Know What to Do In an Emergency

You or someone you are with starts to experience a medical emergency. Do you know what to do? For many medical emergencies, like heart attack and stroke, getting immediate treatment is critical. How do you know when to call 911 and when itís best to drive the person to the emergency department?

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Is the condition life-threatening?
  • Could the condition worsen and become life-threatening on the way to the hospital?
  • Could moving cause further injury?
  • Does the person need the skills/equipment of paramedics or emergency medical technicians?
  • Could distance, traffic, or weather conditions cause a delay in getting to the hospital?
  • Could a paramedic help decide which hospital can best care for the condition?

If the answer to any of these questions is yes or youíre not sure, call 911 for an ambulance.
Even if you think you can get to the hospital faster by driving, 911 can bring many of the lifesaving skills and medications right to you and start care sooner. Emergency crews are trained to begin medical treatment on the way to the hospital, and they can also alert the Emergency Department in advance to the patientís condition.

When you call 911 remember to:

  • Speak calmly and clearly.
  • Give name, address, phone number, exact location of victim, and nature of problem.
  • Donít hang up until the dispatcher indicates you can.
  • The 911 dispatcher can offer some basic care for you to perform while waiting for the ambulance to arrive.

Feature Story

Health Center Today, March 17, 2010

Emergency Room Expansion Improves Conditions for Patients

By Chris Kaminski

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Millions of individuals visit Emergency Rooms across the country and expect to be seen right away. However many face long waits and overcrowding; and as 76 million baby boomers reach their senior years, Emergency Rooms are expected to be even busier.

To address these issues and improve the patient experience, the UConn Health Centerís Emergency Department was recently expanded. The expansion includes seven new rooms and provides patients with increased privacy, state-of-the-art technology, and improved efficiency.

The "front door" to John Dempsey Hospital, the Emergency Department cares for about 30,000 patients every year and serves patients from the towns of West Hartford, Farmington, and surrounding towns. In fact, UConn Health Center is home to the only full-service Emergency Department in the Farmington Valley.

The Emergency Department team includes all board-certified emergency medicine physicians and highly-trained physician assistants, nurse practitioners, nurses, and medical assistants. To assure the highest quality care, UConn offers todayís most sophisticated diagnostic services, complete electronic medical records, and other high-tech features. In addition, experts in more than 50 medical specialties including surgery, orthopaedics, and cardiology, are available 24/7.