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    • Emergency Care

    What to Expect at a Renown Health ER

    Access to a trusted and efficient emergency room (ER) in times of unexpected medical emergencies is crucial. Renown Health’s emergency and trauma care is available at three ER locations, including the region’s only level II trauma center and ER designed for pediatric patients to provide you and your family with prompt, high-quality and specialized care by board-certified emergency physicians when you need it. Dr. John Hardwick, board-certified emergency physician at Renown Health, describes a guide to emergency care at Renown Health below. Timely and Compassionate Care: Renown ER is committed to delivering timely and compassionate care. Experienced medical professionals at Renown will communicate openly with you, involving you in the decision-making process and addressing any concerns you may have. Upon arrival, you can expect to be promptly assessed by a team of skilled medical professionals who will prioritize your needs based on the severity of your illness or condition. Click here to learn more about the emergency care process, from check-in to discharge. Expert Medical Team: With advanced technology and experienced specialists from Northern Nevada Emergency Physicians, all patients are in good hands for emergency care at Renown Health. Our pediatric and adult emergency physicians have completed fellowship training in specialty areas such as sports medicine, ultrasound and emergency medical services. Team members in the emergency department will ensure you are informed and as comfortable as possible during your visit to minimize any pain or discomfort you may feel. Efficient Triage Process: Renown ER utilizes an efficient triage process to prioritize patients based on the urgency of their medical condition. This ensures that those with more critical conditions receive immediate attention, while still providing timely care for others. Tests such as labs or diagnostic services will often be completed while you wait to see a physician to expedite the process. Comprehensive Diagnostic Services: The ERs at Renown offer comprehensive diagnostic services to quickly identify your symptoms. This may include X-rays, laboratory tests, CT scans and other imaging studies, helping emergency physicians make informed decisions about your treatment plan.   Specialty Care and Collaboration with the Renown Health Network: We offer the area's largest network of specialized providers and services to help ensure you receive industry-leading, personalized care during and after your emergency room visit. This collaboration means you’ll have access to more specialists and a wide range of expertise to continue your care without leaving the Renown Health network. State-of-the-Art Facilities: Renown Health invests in state-of-the-art facilities and equipment to ensure that patients receive the best possible care. Renown ERs are equipped with modern medical technology, allowing board-certified emergency physicians to diagnose and treat a wide range of medical conditions. Post-ER Visit Support and Resources: Your experience with Renown Health doesn't end when you leave the ER. Our team will address your questions and provide you with post-visit instructions, medications and follow-up recommendations to continue your care. With a commitment to timely and compassionate care and a team of expert healthcare professionals, you can trust Renown ER to provide the highest standard of emergency medical services when you need it most.

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    • Emergency Care
    • Pediatric Care
    • Spine, Sports, and Pain Medicine

    Head Injuries, Sprains and Broken Bones

    Participating in sports and physical activities is enjoyable and beneficial for our health. However, the risk of injuries comes with the fun and excitement of sports. Sports-related injuries, including sprains, traumatic brain injuries and broken bones, are more common than we realize and can land you in the emergency room. Dr. Scott Shepherd, Emergency Medicine Physician, provides a wealth of information. Traumatic Brain Injuries: The Invisible Threat Traumatic brain injuries come in many forms. From “mild” brain injuries, concussions, to major brain injuries and bleeds. Sometimes it is very difficult to tell the difference between a major injury and a minor injury because many of the symptoms are the same. Concussions Concussions are a type of “mild” traumatic brain injury resulting from a blow to the head or a violent shaking of the body that causes a transient alteration in mental function. They are particularly prevalent in contact sports such as football, soccer and boxing. A concussion can affect memory, judgment, reflexes, speech, balance and muscle coordination. Typically, concussions are not life threatening and usually short lived. However, multiple concussions can lead to permanent disabilities. So, remember there is nothing “mild” about injuring your brain. Contusions The more serious brain injuries from brain contusions (actual bleeding in the brain material) and bleeding that presses on the brain are life threatening. These injuries are caused by the same blow to the head as a concussion and the symptoms are the same from memory deficits, loss of coordination to coma. Because of this, anyone who has a blow to the head and is not acting normal should be evaluated by a medical professional. Anyone suspected of having a severe head injury should seek immediate medical attention and follow a strict protocol for rest and a gradual return to play. It is important to note a person may not lose consciousness if they suffer a concussion; however, major consequences can occur if not properly managed. If you suspect you have an emergency that needs immediate medical attention, please call 911 or visit an emergency room near you. While it is impossible to prevent traumatic brain injuries altogether, the severity of the injury can be mitigated through proper helmet usage and knowing your skill level when participating in high-risk activities. The guidelines for picking a helmet for summer activities such as mountain biking, dirt biking and riding off highway vehicles are similar to those of picking a helmet for winter sports. Learn more about choosing the right helmet. Any blow to your head, neck or upper body can result in a major head injury Signs to watch for include the following: Headache Dizziness Blurred vision Difficulty with thinking, attention or memory Sensitivity to noise or light Ringing in the ears Changes in hearing Double vision Changes in behavior Balance issues Nausea/vomiting   Sprains: The Annoying Twist One of the most common sports injuries is a sprain, which occurs when ligaments that connect bones are stretched or torn. Sprains typically occur in joints, such as the ankle, knee or wrist, and are often caused by sudden twists or impacts. Symptoms may include: Pain Swelling Bruising Limited range of motion Rest, ice, compression and elevation (RICE) are the initial recommended treatment, followed by physical therapy to regain strength and mobility.

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    • Emergency Care

    What it Means to be a Level II Trauma Center

    When the sudden need for emergency or critical care arises, the level of a trauma center is an important designation that helps explain the types of resources available. Renown Regional Medical Center is proud to be the only Level II Trauma Center in our region, which is a critical service to provide. We spoke with Bret Frey, MD, an emergency care physician, to discuss what this means for our community.  Requirements for Designation as a Level II Trauma Center To be a designated Level II Trauma Center, a hospital must have 24-hour immediate coverage by general surgeons and multiple specialties, such as orthopedic surgery, neurosurgery, emergency medicine and more. In addition, this hospital must provide trauma prevention and ongoing education for its teams and incorporate a comprehensive quality assessment program.  “What it means for this community is nothing short of amazing,” said Dr. Frey, who explained that Renown has over 20 specialty physicians on-call and ready to provide trauma care. According to Dr. Frey, many communities of the same or larger size have fewer specialists ready and available to provide this level of care.  Renown Regional Medical Center is located near downtown Reno. The Emergency Department has several helipads and ambulance banks to intake patients requiring emergency care. Patients can also receive emergency walk-in care. On the same campus is Renown Children’s Hospital, which is home to the only pediatric Emergency Room dedicated solely to pediatric patients.  Emergency and trauma care is just one area in which Renown Health is the regional leader. When patients or families choose Renown during an emergency, they will have access to all the resources provided through the entire health network. This means access to the many specialists available to consult on different conditions or care situations, inpatient care if needed, referrals to other areas of the network and medications to go.  “I’m very happy and proud to be a part of building something very special in this community,” said Frey.

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    • Emergency Care
    • Urgent Care

    What to do if you Experience a Summer Burn

    As families spend more time outdoors to enjoy the summer temperatures, it's important to be aware of potential hazards that can lead to burns – be it sunburns, burns sustained while grilling or navigating the hot surfaces often found around pool decks and parks. All these burn types are not only painful but can also cause severe damage to the skin and require immediate medical attention.   Ross Albright, MD, an emergency care physician, explores effective preventive measures to avoid burns during the summer and discusses when it's essential to seek medical care.  Stay Sun Safe While soaking up the sun is a favorite summer pastime for many, it's important to protect your skin from harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays. Sunburns not only damage the skin but also increase the risk of more severe burns.  Follow these tips for staying safe in the sun:  Apply broad-spectrum sunscreen with a minimum SPF of 30 before heading outdoors and reapply every two hours.  Seek shade during peak hours of sun intensity, typically between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.  Wear protective clothing, such as wide-brimmed hats, sunglasses and lightweight, long-sleeved garments.  Fire and Hot Object Safety Summer is full of fun outdoor activities like BBQs, campfires and fireworks, all of which can pose a fire hazard if not handled carefully.   To prevent burns caused by fires:  Maintain a safe distance from open flames and grills and always use oven mitts or potholders when handling hot objects.  Keep a fire extinguisher and a first aid kit readily available.  Keep children away from hot objects and fireworks and educate them about the dangers of touching or playing with them.  Hot Surface Safety  Asphalt, metal slides and surfaces around the pool retain heat and are likely to be significantly hotter than other materials such as a wooden picnic table to grassy pathway (these can still be hot too!). So, it's crucial to be cautious around these materials to prevent burns:  Use caution when near hot surfaces surrounding water sources, such as pool decks or metal slides.  Always wear shoes when walking on hot surfaces such as asphalt, concrete and even sand.  Ensure that playground equipment such as slides and swings are cool to the touch before your kiddos start climbing around.   Recognizing Severity of Burns and Seeking Care  Despite our best efforts, burns can still occur. It's essential to know when a burn requires medical attention:  First-degree burns, characterized by redness, pain and minor swelling, can typically be treated at home with cool water and over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin) or acetaminophen (Tylenol).  Second-degree burns, which may cause blistering and more intense pain, should be evaluated by a healthcare professional. Third-degree burns, indicated by charring or blackened skin, deep tissue damage or burns that cover a large area, require immediate emergency care.  Preventing burns during the summer is paramount to enjoying a safe and enjoyable season. By following these tips, you can significantly reduce the risk of burns and ensure prompt medical attention when necessary. Stay informed, stay safe and have a burn-free summer!  If you or someone you know experiences a burn, it's important to seek immediate medical care.

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    • Emergency Care
    • Urgent Care
    • Primary Care

    When to Seek Care for Abdominal Pain

    Abdominal pain is one of the most common complaints that brings individuals to the emergency room. We spoke with emergency physician Bret Frey, MD, to ask about when and where to seek care for abdominal pain.   Dr. Frey advises that any time you feel something is developing inside your body that is substantially different from what is normal for you, understand that something is wrong. He further explains that warning signs of an acute medical situation include fever, vomiting or a rapid change in function and ability to move due to pain. These symptoms indicate that one needs to be evaluated by a medical professional.   This evaluation will include the care team conducting an examination and asking a series of questions to determine if additional diagnostics, such as lab work or imaging, are needed. Be prepared to discuss where the pain is and what it feels like, in addition to how long it’s been bothering you and if it’s constant or intermittent.  While appendicitis often comes to mind when thinking about abdominal pain, Dr. Frey says that this is not the bulk of cases that the Emergency Department sees. In fact, often the pain does not have a specific diagnosis, but our team of board-certified emergency physicians are experienced in assessing and caring for those experiencing the acute symptoms he described.   “We often don’t come away with an answer about exactly what it is, but we substantially rule out life threats in a very methodical and systematic way,” said Frey.  The abdomen includes many organs, including the stomach, liver, small and large intestines, gallbladder and pancreas. In addition, pain stemming from your chest, pelvis or back may be felt in the abdominal area.  If you are experiencing abdominal issues that are persistent but not an emergency, talk to your primary care doctor about what you are experiencing, and be prepared to review the history of this pain, medications, allergies and diet. He or she will be a good partner to review conditions such as gas, heartburn, constipation, diarrhea, inflammation or menstrual and ovulation pain. Drinking plenty of water is always an important part of supporting your health.

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    • Emergency Care
    • Renown Health
    • Urgent Care

    Three Emergency Room Options for You and Your Family

    Renown Health has three emergency rooms open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, ready to serve our community. We checked in with Amy Hawkins, Manager of Clinical Nursing at Renown South Meadows, to learn more about the emergency room experience and how each can accommodate your emergency care needs. 1. Renown Regional Emergency Room The emergency room at Renown Regional Medical Center is the only Level II Trauma Center between Sacramento and Salt Lake City, treating more than 80,000 ER and trauma patients annually. Services Offered: This location offers immediate emergency care covered by general surgeons and coverage by the specialties of orthopedic surgery, neurosurgery, anesthesiology, emergency medicine, radiology and critical care. In addition, tertiary care needs include cardiac surgery, hemodialysis and microvascular surgery. (Patients may be referred to a Level I Trauma Center.) Renown Regional ER Location 2. Renown South Meadows Emergency Room South Reno is expanding, and so is Renown South Meadows ER! Exciting transformations are happening across this campus, including the new 121,000-square-foot specialty care center and upgrades to the existing medical center—expanding care to our patients. Added benefits to the more intimate setting at South Meadows: Smaller ER also means more personal experience. The team traditionally has more time to spend with each patient at the bedside. A smaller campus means convenient parking, as the ER is just outside the front entrance; however, patients are reminded to follow marked road signs when approaching the campus during construction. Most patients arrive by private vehicle versus an ambulance, so we are very accustomed to thinking quickly on our feet. Benefits to new construction: A new Cath lab will allow us to treat patients experiencing a heart attack and needing immediate intervention to open vessels in their hearts. Additional lab and imaging capabilities for our patients Services Offered: This location offers immediate emergency care staffed with board-certified emergency physicians. Patients can expect one-on-one interactions with trusted providers and shorter wait times. All emergency room services are open during construction, and patients are reminded to follow marked road signs when approaching the campus. South Meadows ER Location 3. Renown Children's Hospital Emergency Room This location offers immediate emergency care, with pediatric specialists always on staff. In addition, the Children's ER lobby is ideal for our littlest patients, with a child-friendly atmosphere and vibrant colors to help decrease the anxiety accompanying emergencies. Medical equipment is sized just for kids, and we offer a distraction machine, games and movies to help children cope with what can be a traumatic experience, like getting an IV. In addition, we have Child Life Specialists available to provide emotional support to both children and their families. When to Bring Your Child to the ER: Allergic reactions Asthma attacks Baby under three months old with a temperature higher than 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit Broken bones Burns Choking or poisoning Difficulty breathing Eye injuries Fainting, dizziness and confusion Head injuries Heart attack Rashes Seizures Severe bleeding Severe headache Severe pain Skin infections Stitches Stroke Venomous stings and bites Renown Children's Hospital Location

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