What To Expect
Our emergency department at Northwest can often be busy, so it’s important to understand what to expect when you visit us. Depending on the level of severity of your medical condition, you may be seen sooner rather than later. We know that attending an emergency department can be stressful, but you can rest assured that our team is working hard to ensure everyone is seen and cared for appropriately.
24 hr Emergency Room
Our Emergency Room is available around the clock, seven days a week, every single day of the year. We are equipped with an ICU and specifically trained ED physicians, allowing us to care for individuals with severe and life-threatening injuries and conditions.
2022 ER Expansion
Coming 2022, Northwest will introduce a state-of-the-art 10-bed emergency room to suit the growing needs of our patients. This new ER will allow us to handle a greater capacity of patients through our emergency services.
UAB EMEDICINE TELESTROKE SERVICES
UAB Telehealth now provides telestroke care at Northwest Regional Health, giving patients access to a UAB neurologist within minutes. Telestroke services are also available in our Emergency Department 24 hours per day.
Frequently Asked Questions
You should call 911 immediately if you or a loved one is experiencing an emergency where your life is in danger. If you suspect a stroke or heart attack, call 911 immediately. In the case of a traumatic accident such as a car crash, you should call 911 to the scene.
Trauma refers to severe injury caused by an external force. Car crashes, a fall, or an assault are examples of trauma leading to a life- or limb-threatening injury. Trauma patients have a far greater chance of survival if they are treated within 60 minutes of their injury.
If your symptoms are not severe or you think you may have a minor infection, going to a clinic may be the better option for you. Minor sprains, burns, and fractures of toes or fingers are examples where a Family Care Clinic may be more suitable to receive care promptly.
Triage is the process used to organize patients based on the levels listed above. We determine your level based on a questionnaire and a quick medical exam, allowing us to treat you in accordance with how severe your medical condition is.
Once you've checked in, you may receive minor treatment and diagnostic tests by our medical team before seeing a specialist doctor. Depending on how busy the ER is, you may have to wait quite a while to be seen if you require a low level of care.
Unless otherwise advised, do not eat and drink anything while awaiting treatment. If you have a medical condition that requires you to eat, such as diabetes, try to consult with a medical professional first.
Your wait will depend on several factors. Some days at our Emergency Care Center are busier than others, and the level of care you need will also determine how long you are waiting. If your medical issue falls on the lower end of the scale, there may be longer wait times before you see a professional. Our expert team works hard to ensure the shortest wait times possible for all patients.
Children and visitors can visit the emergency room, but the space can be stressful and overwhelming for some. We’d recommend as few people as possible in the waiting space to avoid overcrowding, particularly on busy days.
If you require follow-up treatment, your doctor or nurse will provide you with the information on where to go next or who to speak to following your visit to the ER.