Local hospitals say you should avoid emergency room if possible

Doctors at Atrium Health Navicent say before entering an emergency room, you should think of your options.

MACON, Georgia(41NBC/WMGT) — With COVID cases continuing to rise in Middle Georgia, local health officials are urging people to avoid the emergency room if possible.

Doctors at Atrium Health Navicent say before entering an emergency room, you should think of your options. Those include heading to an urgent care or using the My Atrium app, where you can access a doctor from home.

“You can be able to put your symptoms in, connect with a practitioner and even potentially be able to get a prescription to help you with your condition,” Chief Clinical Officer Dr. Sandy Duke said.

According to Dr. Duke, emergency room patients are seeing long wait times right now. That’s why they offer various virtual options.

“We have virtual ICU consultations, so that we can support critically ill patients in our rural care facilities like Atrium Health Baldwin or Atrium Health Peach,” he said. They even have a pediatric infectious disease option.

Dr. Duke says the pandemic has changed the way people seek medical help, but they’re helping everyone who needs it.

Piedmont Macon is also encouraging patients to not head to the emergency room unless it’s an emergency.

“Anytime someone comes to the emergency room, we are going to see them no matter what, but when you have overcrowding as it is, we’re always going to see the sickest patients first,” emergency medicine resident Vincenzo Happach said.

Categories: Bibb County, Featured, Health, Local News, Medical, WMGT