When the Carter family needed help for a sudden medical problem, the new ER at Westlake made it easy.
John Carter and his wife first noticed that something was off while they were out to dinner with their 9-year-old son, Kyle, after a busy day. They’d taken Kyle swimming after school and everything seemed fine, but when they sat down at the restaurant to eat, the red flags started to appear.
“Kyle was literally laying there with his head on the dinner table,” his dad recalls. “The restaurant we went to had a lot of ambient noise, and Kyle said a number of times that it was really loud and the noise was bothering him. When his dinner came he really didn’t have much of an appetite, which again is unusual.”
At this point, his mom asked him if he was feeling OK, and that’s when the unexpected news came. Their normally active and hungry boy told them that he’d bumped his head on a steel pull-up bar at the playground earlier that day and was knocked out cold. He said that when he came to, his buddy was sitting on his chest, yelling at him to wake up.
“Our jaws hit the table,” recalls Carter, who knew from his experience as a recreational soccer coach that their son might have a concussion and needed medical care.
Carter was familiar with the new ER at Westlake because he is a vice president at the company that developed the Westlake community. Opened in 2019, the freestanding emergency department is an extension of Wellington Regional Medical Center and provides 24/7 emergency care. When the symptoms unfolded with Kyle, it was absolutely a “no brainer” to go there and get treatment for their son right near their home, Carter says.
Based on the results of the evaluation and testing, Kyle was given a temporary moratorium on playing recreational soccer; and after a short time, he was feeling better and back to his old self.
What stood out to the Carters was how easy everything was in terms of the wait time and the process to be treated. This was Kyle’s first ER experience, and his dad says that the setting and the amount of engagement from the staff helped put him at ease.
In an emergency, call 9-1-1 immediately or go to the nearest ER.
ER vs. Urgent Care
Knowing what to do in certain medical situations can be tricky. Is it an emergency, or something less serious that can be treated in an urgent care setting?
ER Medical Director Adam Bromberg, MD, says that if you have a potentially life-threatening condition like chest pain, or symptoms that cannot be easily assessed in an urgent care setting, such as weakness or abdominal pain, these issues should be treated in the ER. Emergency departments have the capability to provide advanced imaging that may be needed to address potentially serious health concerns, whereas urgent care centers do not, he says.
For more “run-of-the-mill” conditions like bumps and bruises, cold symptoms, strains and sprains, the urgent care setting is an appropriate place to go.