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Emergency Room FAQ


Directions
Where is the closest parking to the ER?
What is the closest bus stop to the ER?
When should I bring a loved one or myself to the ER?
What should I do if a loved one or I am having chest pain?
What should I do if I think someone is having a stroke?
Will I be tested for COVID-19 if I go to the emergency room?
Is it safe to go to the emergency room?
How long will I have to wait?
Why are some patients seen before me even though I arrived before they did?
What should I bring with me to the ER?
What can I do to be more comfortable while I’m waiting?
Can I eat or drink while I wait in the ER?
Do you treat infants, toddlers and children?
What happens if I need to be admitted to the hospital?
Where can my family or I get spiritual support?
How can I get my test results after I leave the ER?
How can my family members contact me?
Where can visitors get something to eat while they are waiting?
How do I find out about a family member’s condition?
Whom do I contact if I have questions about my bill?
Can I still be seen if I don’t have health insurance?
How can I learn more about my eligibility for financial assistance?


Directions

Click here for driving directions to the ER

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Where is the closest parking to the ER?

Enter off Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. and follow the signs to Parking Garage 1. That is the closest parking garage to the Emergency Department.

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What is the closest bus stop to the ER?

The bus lines that have stops near the hospital are: 120, 151, A, and D.
120 and 151 both have stops at Imperial Highway/ Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
Lynwood Trolley, Lines A and D, stop at Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd./Bullis Rd.

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Emergency Conditions

When should I bring a loved one or myself to the ER?

Call 911 or immediately go to an emergency room when someone is experiencing the following:

  • Shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, wheezing
  • Chest pain
  • Fainting or dizziness
  • Sudden numbness or weakness
  • Sudden inability to see, speak, walk or move
  • Confusion or changes in mental state
  • Fever with convulsions, or fever in a child 3 months old or younger
  • Bleeding that cannot be stopped
  • Coughing or vomiting blood
  • Blood in the urine or bloody diarrhea
  • Severe headache or head injury
  • Intense abdominal pain
  • Facial droop
  • Speech difficulty
  • Arm weakness
  • Discomfort in other areas of the upper body

If you or a loved one are not certain if a visit to the emergency room is necessary, please go to your nearest Emergency Room for an evaluation.

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What should I do if a loved one or I am having chest pain?

Chest pain can be a sign of a heart attack. Call 911 or have someone take you to the closest emergency room if your chest pain lasts longer than 5 minutes or does not go away when you rest or take medication.

Other symptoms of a heart attack to look for are:

  • Sweating
  • Shortness of breath
  • Rapid or irregular heartbeat
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Pain in back, upper abdomen, arm or shoulder
  • Lightheadedness

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What should I do if I think someone is having a stroke?

When it comes to stroke, think F.A.S.T!

F – Face: Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face droop?

A – Arms: Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?

S – Speech: Ask the person to repeat a simple phrase. Is the speech slurred or strange?

T – Time: If you see any of these sings, call 911 immediately.

Note the time that the symptoms first appear. Do not drive yourself to the hospital; call an ambulance so medical personnel can begin life-saving treatment on the way to the Emergency Room.

Minutes matter. Stroke treatments work best only if the stroke is recognized and diagnosed within the first 3 hours of the first symptoms.

St. Francis Medical Center is a Joint Commission-certified Primary Stroke Center. We are able to meet the unique and specialized needs of stroke patients with the resources and processes needed to foster better outcomes. Learn more about our expert stroke care.

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ER Experience

Will I be tested for COVID-19 if I go to the Emergency Room?

Your care team will evaluate your symptoms to determine whether you need a COVID test. Please let your care team know if you are experiencing COVID symptoms such as fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, diarrhea, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, headache, and/or nausea or vomiting.

If you are admitted to the hospital, we may test you for COVID so we can safely care for you. You may be tested even if you are not experiencing symptoms.

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Is it safe to go to the Emergency Room?

The Emergency Room is the best place to be when timely medical care is required. It is important to treat serious medical conditions promptly before they worsen and become life-threatening. For many medical emergencies like heart attack and stroke, quick treatment can be the difference between life and death.

The risk of contracting COVID-19 in the ER is extremely low. Our team is taking precautions to keep the ER as safe as possible including limiting visitors, mask wearing, increased cleaning and disinfecting and the wearing of personal protective equipment (PPE).

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How long will I have to wait?

Our care teams do everything they can to see patients as soon as possible. Wait times depend on many factors including number of patients currently being seen and severity of patient ailments.

Sometimes patients need more time in the ER than predicted. We want to give our patients all the help and information they came for. While you are waiting, please let a staff member know if there is anything they can help you with.

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Why are some patients seen before me even though I arrived before they did?

We understand seeing others get examined before you can be difficult. Emergency Rooms use a system called triage to recognize which patients need urgent medical attention and treat them accordingly.

If, while waiting, you begin to feel so unwell that you start getting chills or become nauseated, please let a staff member know.

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What should I bring with me to the ER?

The following items and information will be extremely helpful to your ER care team:

  • List of current medications
  • List of allergies
  • Photo ID
  • Emergency contact information
  • Insurance cards and co-pay

If you ingested a poison or toxin, try to bring it with you, take a photo(s) of the entire label, or be able to tell your care team what toxin you ingested. If you are going to the ER for an animal bite, be able to give as much information about where the animal that bit you came from.

Please leave valuables at home.

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What can I do to be more comfortable while I’m waiting?

We understand it can be hard to wait when you aren’t feeling well. If possible, bring a family member or friend with so they can keep you company. Wear comfortable clothes and bring a blanket if you think you may get cold. Take this time to write out questions about your condition or goals for your visit. Make sure to share them with your care team.

If you are in the ER with your child, feel free to bring their favorite small toy, stuffed animal or a handheld electronic game to help keep them occupied.

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Can I eat or drink while I wait in the ER?

Please talk with a staff member if you would like to eat or drink something. We may need to perform tests or procedures that require patients to have an empty stomach.

Please do not give your child anything to eat or drink if there is a chance they may need sedation or anesthesia for surgery.

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Do you treat infants, toddlers and children?

Yes! St. Francis Medical Center Emergency Room is a certified Emergency Department Approved for Pediatrics (EDAP) by the LA County Emergency Medical System. To qualify as an EDAP, a hospital emergency department must meet specific criteria, including requirements for pediatrics equipment, physician coverage and ongoing pediatric education and policies.

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What happens if I need to be admitted to the hospital?

You may be admitted if it is determined that you need further evaluation or treatment. Your care team will communicate with you and explain why you may need to stay at the hospital.

Once the decision has been made to admit you to the hospital, you will be taken to a patient room. If a room is not yet available, your care team will work to keep you as comfortable as possible until one is ready.

Your care team may run more tests, if needed. They will also assist you in contacting any loved ones, if needed. Please let your care team know if you have any questions about your care.

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Where can my family or I get spiritual support?

Our chapel is located across from the main lobby in the Patient Tower. It is open daily for meditation and prayer.

The Spiritual Care team is available daily from 8:00am-5:00pm. If there is an emergency, please call the hospital operator at 310-900-8900 and request to have the chaplain on duty paged.

To make an appointment with a member of the Spiritual Care team, please call 310-900-7380.

Mass is held in the chapel Monday-Friday at 11:30am. Vigil masses are held Saturdays at 4:00pm.

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How can I get my test results after I leave the ER?

Information about your ER visit will be available in MyChart, your personal medical record. In MyChart, you can view your health summary, lab results and other information related to your visit. To sign up, click here.

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How can my family members contact me?

Family members can call the hospital main line at 310-900-8900 and ask for the patient by name.

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Visitors

Are visitors allowed in the Emergency Room?

Due to the always changing nature of the Emergency Room, we try to keep visitors to a minimum. Currently we allow one visitor or accompanying family member with each patient. Visitors are required to wear a mask at all times while inside the hospital.

The Emergency Room is a secure area. Visitors are required to get visitor badges from the entrance. We ask that visitors respect other patients’ privacy and remain at their loved ones’ bedside unless asked to go to the lobby. Visitors may be asked to wait in the lobby during certain examinations or procedures.

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Where can visitors get something to eat while they are waiting?

Due to current COVID-19 restrictions, our Cafeteria is closed to visitors at this time, in compliance with California Department of Health guidelines on limiting visitor movement within the facility. We apologize for any inconvenience. If you would like to purchase food outside the hospital, there are a number of restaurants, fast food, and fast casual dining options across the street and in the surrounding area.

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How do I find out about a family member’s condition?

Visit the Information Desk to ask for an update on your family member’s condition.

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Billing

Whom do I contact if I have questions about my bill?

Please call our Patient Financial Services Department at 310-900-7420 with any questions regarding your bill.

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Can I still be seen if I don’t have health insurance?

Yes. Emergency care is not based on your ability to pay.

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How can I learn more about my eligibility for financial assistance?

We understand that paying for emergency or other medically necessary care can be challenging, particularly for patients without health insurance. We have financial counselors available to help you find financial solutions to help cover your cost of care.

Please visit our financial assistance page to learn more.

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If you do not see your question answered here, please call us at 310-900-8900.