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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.

HCAHealthcare_Specialty_EmergencyCare

Emergency room (ER) in St. Petersburg, Florida

When you or a loved one experiences a medical emergency, you want fast, expert care you can rely on.

We understand that. That's why our emergency room in St. Petersburg, Florida, is open 24/7, standing by to provide the lifesaving care you need, when you need it most.

Our emergency department doctors and nurses are trained to care for all types of medical emergencies. So, whether you're experiencing shortness of breath or a broken bone or something else entirely, we're here for you.

Expert emergency physicians and quality care

To ensure you receive the best possible emergency care, our emergency room features:

  • 20-bed emergency unit
  • Advanced patient monitoring equipment
  • Bedside registration
  • Comfortable treatment rooms
  • Fast-track emergency room for less serious illnesses and injuries
  • Intensive care unit (ICU)
  • Private patient triage area

If you require additional care and monitoring, you may be admitted as an inpatient to our hospital with access to a variety of physicians and services.

Advanced Primary Stroke Center

We are recognized by The Joint Commission as an Advanced Primary Stroke Center. This means we have received national accreditation for the stroke services we offer. Our emergency physicians, neurologists and staff work together to provide you with a quick diagnosis and treatment when you come to us with stroke symptoms.

Stroke symptoms

When it comes to a stroke, every second matters. Knowing the signs and symptoms of a stroke can help save your life and can also significantly affect your quality of life after recovery.

Call 911 if you experience any of the following:

  • Confusion or trouble talking or understanding speech
  • Dizziness, trouble walking or loss of balance or coordination
  • Numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body
  • Severe headache with no known cause
  • Trouble seeing in one or both eyes

Emergency care for heart attacks

In the event you come to our emergency room with symptoms of a heart attack, we will provide you with prompt, expert heart care. Our emergency physicians will provide a quick diagnosis and begin lifesaving treatment immediately, to give you the best possible outcome.

Early heart attack warning signs

During a heart attack, "time is muscle" — meaning the longer a heart attack goes untreated, the more damage there is to the heart muscle. Recognizing the early signs of a heart attack can help people acknowledge subtle symptoms and seek care faster.

Some common early heart attack symptoms include:

  • Anxiety
  • Back pain
  • Chest pressure, squeezing or discomfort
  • Fatigue
  • Feeling of fullness
  • Jaw pain
  • Nausea
  • Pain that travels down one or both arms
  • Shortness of breath

Heart attack symptoms

Call 911 if you experience any of the following:

  • Chest discomfort (this can include any kind of uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain that lasts for more than a few minutes or that goes away and comes back)
  • Discomfort in the upper body (this can include pain or discomfort in one or both arms as well as the back, neck, jaw or stomach)
  • Indigestion or gastric fullness that is not relieved by antacids
  • Shortness of breath
  • Other signs can include cold sweats, nausea or becoming suddenly light-headed

Heart attack treatment

Treatments for heart attacks may vary depending on the severity of your condition. You may be treated with medications, such as blood thinners, or you may require surgery to open up a blockage.

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.

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 (855) 245-8328.


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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