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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. Emergency medicine physicians may treat patients with injuries or infections, in addition to life-threatening conditions.

HCAH_Specialty_EmergencyCare

Emergency room (ER) in Pinellas County, Florida

When an emergency occurs, we know you need fast, high-quality care you can rely on.

That's why HCA Florida Northside Hospital's emergency room provides 24/7, high-quality emergency care for all types of injuries and illnesses. Our emergency room is equipped to offer lifesaving services for both adults and children. This means we're here to offer the care your whole family deserves when they need it most. 

Emergency conditions we treat

Our emergency specialists deliver high-quality emergency treatment when you need it most. Some of the most common emergency conditions and symptoms we treat include:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Asthma attacks
  • Bleeding
  • Breathing problems
  • Burns
  • Gynecologic conditions
  • Heart problems, including heart attacks
  • High fevers
  • Injuries
  • Pediatric conditions
  • Sepsis
  • Strokes
  • Trauma
  • Wounds
  • Other chronic and severe medical conditions

Emergency services we offer

To ensure you receive the best possible emergency care, we are proud to offer a variety of services at our hospital. 

Heart attack treatment

Our physicians work hard to ensure you receive the best possible heart care should you experience a heart attack. Because of this, our hospital was designated an Accredited Chest Pain Center with PCI (percutaneous coronary intervention) from the American College of Cardiology.

Heart attack symptoms

When blood is prevented from reaching the heart, usually due to a clot, it causes a heart attack. The longer this goes untreated, the more damage occurs.

Because of this, knowing the signs and symptoms of a heart attack can help save a life.

The following may indicate a heart attack:

  • Chest discomfort, including pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain that lasts for more than a few minutes or that subsides and then returns
  • Discomfort in the upper body, including pain in one or both arms or the back, neck, jaw or stomach
  • Indigestion or gastric fullness that is not relieved by antacids
  • Shortness of breath
  • Additional signs may include cold sweats, nausea or sudden lightheadedness

Stroke treatment

The sooner a patient arrives at our emergency room with signs of stroke, the sooner treatment can be administered. This is important because fast treatment decreases the likelihood of long-term stroke-related conditions.

Our dedication to fast stroke care has allowed our stroke treatment program to be the first in Pinellas County to be recognized as a Comprehensive Stroke Center by DNV GL Healthcare.

We are also recognized as a Comprehensive Stroke Center by The Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA), and we received the Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award with Target: Stroke Honor Roll Elite Plus from the American Heart Association (AHA).

Stroke symptoms

It's important to know the symptoms of stroke and act quickly when you recognize them.

Common stroke symptoms include:

  • Slurred speech
  • Sudden dizziness, trouble walking or loss of balance or coordination
  • Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
  • Sudden, severe headache with no known cause
  • Uneven smile or facial expression or numbness in the face
  • Weakness or numbness in an arm

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. 

Symptoms that may require emergency care

However, 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® team at (888) 598-9586.


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.

After discharge, our emergency department staff will reach out to your primary care provider to ensure they are updated on your care.


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

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