MEDICAL ADVICE QUESTIONS:
There are a few true pediatric emergencies that are best handled in an Emergency Room as they have the staff and resources available to tend to your child’s medical needs in an acute situation. We want to handle most urgent conditions that arise in our clinic, but for your child’s safety our nurse triage will sometimes direct you to an emergency room. These may include situations such as an allergic reaction, injuries requiring prompt x-ray or surgery consult, severe airway and breathing problems, severe head trauma, and cuts needing stitches.
What warrants an emergency night call: We suggest some guidelines for what is an emergency call in the middle of the night.
- If you were unable to contact your child’s doctor or nurse for advice, would you feel that you had to call an ambulance or drive the child to the nearest emergency room?
- If you reached the doctor or nurse and she/he agreed the child needed to be seen urgently in the emergency room, would you be eager to dress yourself and the child and go there?
- If your doctor listened to your story, either over the phone or in person, and recommended admitting the child to the hospital, would you accept that advice without hesitation?
- Inappropriate calls include: calling to make appointments, concern for illness that has been ongoing for days or weeks that has not suddenly worsened, questions about dosing of acetaminophen or ibuprofen, and paging minutes before our phones turn on at 8:00am.
Our doctors encourage you to use utilize your parent network of experienced parent friends and family, or some of the trusted links provided below to help you answer the non-urgent questions that may arise after business hours. www.healthychildren.org
During business hours: One of our registered nurses or trained medical staff can answer questions for you.
The staff consults with our physicians as needed to provide you with accurate information and advice. For complex questions or situations, you may need to schedule an appointment to best address the problem.
Outside of regular business hours: Our practice uses a pediatric nurse triage service for after hour calls. If the triage nurse has a concern that warrants a physician’s involvement, they will contact one of our doctors directly. Our practice pays for this service to support the families in our practice. Misuse of the after hour triage may result in a service fee that we bill directly to the family.