ST. JOSEPH — Spectrum Health Lakeland announced Thursday its three local emergency departments continue to see significantly high patient volumes, resulting in long wait times.
“Care in the emergency department is prioritized by severity of condition and available for life-threatening illnesses and injuries,” officials said in a news release.
Those include persistent chest pain or pressure; facial lacerations; head injury or broken bones; major burns; numbness or paralysis of face, arm or leg; poisoning or suspected overdose; seizure or loss of consciousness; severe reaction to insect bites, medication or food; severe shortness of breath or inability to breathe; sudden slurred speech, visual changes, or weakness; and uncontrollable bleeding.
For other minor conditions and illnesses people should seek care at their primary care provider or visit a walk-in clinic, according to the news release.
James Savoie, director of primary care practices at Spectrum Health Lakeland, said in the news release that Lakeland primary care practices offer around-the-clock access to an on-call medical provider.
“When our office building is closed, our phones are open,” he said. “Whether it’s the middle of the night or a weekend, our answering service can contact a clinician on duty to help you. They will assess your condition and recommend what you should do next. Calling your primary care provider first, could also save you time and money out of pocket.”
Spectrum Health Lakeland will test people for COVID-19 if they have symptoms of the disease.
However, patients in need of a COVID-19 test should contact their primary care provider to obtain a doctor’s order. If patients do not have a provider, care related to COVID-19 is available at all three of the Spectrum Health Lakeland walk-in clinics in Niles, Stevensville and Watervliet, the news release stated.
All Lakeland primary care offices are accepting new patients. To find a provider, visit spectrumhealthlakeland.org/primarycare or call 800-LAKELAND (525-3526).