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Emergency care

Emergency care is the treatment of emergent medical conditions. It is generally performed in an emergency room, but can also refer to treatment in an ambulance. In addition to life-threatening conditions, emergency medicine physicians may treat patients with injuries or infections.

HCAH_Specialty_EmergencyCare

Emergency medical center in Fort Walton Beach, Florida

When you need emergency care, you can depend on the emergency room (ER) team at HCA Florida Fort Walton-Destin Hospital.

Our board-certified ER physicians and nurses provide 24/7 rapid, lifesaving care to patients of all ages. We have a pediatric ER dedicated to treating the emergency healthcare needs of infants, children and adolescents. Additionally, we provide two freestanding ERs in Destin and Navarre.

Related specialities

Our emergency care services

We provide a wide range of services and have developed systems to aid in triage, treatment and stabilization for our patients.

ER features

Our ER features:

  • 44 treatment rooms
  • 24/7 care from board-certified emergency physicians and emergency-trained team members
  • Dedicated radiology room
  • Psychiatric treatment center
  • Rooftop helipad
Emergency stroke treatment

When you are experiencing a stroke, every second counts. Fast treatment is critical to preventing disability, brain damage and even death. Through our facility and with our team, you can trust you will receive the highest level of stroke care. Our stroke treatment services earned our facility the distinction as an Advanced Primary Stroke Center from The Joint Commission, one of the leading healthcare accreditation organizations in the nation.

Pediatric ER

We provide a pediatric ER separate from the hospital's main ER. This specialized unit is equipped with pediatric instruments for children of all ages.

We understand bringing a sick or injured child to the ER can be frightening and stressful — for both you and your child. Our staff is trained in pediatric emergency care, and our physicians provide high-quality care when it matters most. Our pediatric ER features:

  • Family-friendly environment
  • Games, coloring books and teddy bears to calm and comfort your child during their time in the ER
  • Less harsh medications, such as nitrous oxide as a sedation medication for qualifying pediatric patients
  • Physicians and nurses with special training and expertise in pediatric care
Trauma center

We are designed as a Level II Trauma Center by the Florida Department of Health. This means we are uniquely qualified to care for patients with traumatic wounds and injuries. We are prepared to offer emergency care treatment to patients with life-threatening injuries from traumatic accidents 24/7. We also provide immediate access to trauma surgeons.

Freestanding ER locations

When you need emergency care close to home in Destin or Navarre, you can visit one of our freestanding ERs. Freestanding ERs offer the same compassionate, expert-level care you expect at our main hospital.

We provide around-the-clock emergency care at our:

Both locations offer:

  • Adult and pediatric emergency care
  • Certified emergency physicians and nurses
  • Comprehensive laboratory services
  • Diagnostic imaging on-site

Our emergency room wait times

When it comes to emergency care, our goal is to continually work toward enhancing the care you receive, while reducing our wait times. This ensures you get the care you need, when you need it most.

Our wait times are updated every 30 minutes and are available on our website and digital screens on roadside billboards throughout the region.

To find out the wait times of the HCA Florida emergency room nearest to you, check the top of our website or text "ER" to 32222.

Note: Message and data rates may apply. Emergency room wait times are approximate and provided for informational purposes only.

When to go to the emergency room

We understand it can be hard to know what type of medical care you need, like whether you should go to the emergency room or wait for your doctor's office to open.

Conditions that may require emergency care

We want you to feel secure about your choice for care, which is why we've created a list of symptoms that may indicate you need to visit the emergency room:

  • Back pain, when it is unbearable or accompanied by fever, numbness, weakness, confusion, slurred speech, vision loss or loss of control over bladder or bowels
  • Broken bones, when the pain is severe or there is a visible deformity
  • Chest pain, when it is crushing or squeezing and accompanied by other heart attack symptoms, such as shortness of breath or nausea
  • Concussion, when you have lost consciousness, even briefly, or experience amnesia, vomiting, slurred speech or a seizure
  • Flu, when symptoms become severe, such as having trouble breathing, vomiting uncontrollably or becoming dehydrated
  • Side pain, when it is severe and occurs in the lower right stomach, side or back or is accompanied by fever, nausea, diarrhea or blood in the urine
  • Stomach pain, when accompanied by a hard or tender stomach, nausea, shortness of breath, fever or irregular heartbeat
  • Trouble breathing, when breathing stops, is noisy or high-pitched and comes with pain in the chest or severe shortness of breath

If you are unsure if your symptoms require an emergency room visit, you can speak to a nurse 24/7 by calling our Consult-A-Nurse line.

What to expect at the emergency room

When you get to the emergency room, one of our triage nurses will assess your symptoms and vital signs. Next, a registration clerk will collect your insurance card (if available) and other information.

We medically screen, evaluate and stabilize all patients — whether or not they have insurance or are able to pay.

Anyone who has severe, life-threatening illnesses or injuries will be treated first. Everyone else will be treated in the order they arrive.

Before discharge, we encourage you to ask our emergency care teams any questions you have. It is also useful for you to keep all of your paperwork, discharge information and medicines or prescriptions together after you leave the emergency room.

What to bring to the emergency room

When coming to the emergency room, we recommend you bring:

  • A list of medicines you currently take
  • A list of known allergies
  • Copies of results from recent medical tests, if available
  • Personal care preferences and restrictions
  • A responsible adult or phone number for someone to contact

Allen Prince testimonial

Allen Prince, RN, is also a heart patient. He owes his life to the ER team at Fort Walton - Destin Hospital and can't thank them enough for all they did for him when he went into cardiac arrest.
Allen Prince, ER Nurse and Heart Patient.

Fort Walton-Destin Hospital​ Health Snippets — Cuts and burns

Learn how to treat some of the most common minor "at home" injuries - cuts and burns.
Jessica Parsons, Emergency RN

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