Health experts urge Iowans to think twice about going to the emergency room for non-emergencies, as COVID-19 hospitalizations recently set record highs along with large numbers of respiratory virus infections and flu cases.
Dr. Theresa Brennan, chief medical officer for the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, says consider visiting an urgent care clinic if it’s a less-pressing medical issue.
“An urgent care is a great place to go when you might need stitches, or you might need an X-ray or you might need some minor lab tests or you might need some IV fluid,” Brennan says, “really reserving the emergency room for a place where you really need some emergency care.”
Brennan, a cardiologist and U-I professor of internal medicine, says an emergency room should only be used — in emergencies. “The emergency room should be really reserved for those that are the most ill, those that are having really more major illnesses, strokes, heart attacks, major traumas, head injuries.”
A coalition of central Iowa hospitals took out a full-page ad in the Des Moines Register this week, urging Iowans to get vaccinated as medical centers are being overwhelmed, with the vast majority of new patients being people who have refused to get the shots.
(By Natalie Krebs, Iowa Public Radio)