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Emergency care plays a vital role within the healthcare system, often serving as the primary gateway to essential or even lifesaving treatment. Despite this, hospital emergency rooms are often overlooked until after an urgent situation arises.

"Not having a preferred emergency department could be a mistake," says Dr. Randy Tartacoff, Director of Emergency Medicine at Holy Name. "Knowing when and where to go for care in potentially critical situations is an important part of planning for an emergency."

While primary care physicians or urgent care facilities may be better suited to treating minor conditions, a trip to the ER is a better choice for a range of all-too-common emergencies, including bone breaks, significant burns or cuts, serious infections or allergic reactions, prolonged fevers or gastrointestinal issues, and symptoms of a potentially life-threatening illness such as signs of respiratory, cardiovascular, or neurological distress.

Just as all health emergencies are not the same, neither are all emergency rooms. Some hospitals are better equipped or staffed to provide care in life threatening situations like cardiac arrest, seizures, and stroke. In these cases, minutes can literally make the difference between life or death.

In the most recently published results from Press Ganey, a national organization that measures patient preferences and outcomes, the emergency department at Holy Name Medical Center in Teaneck routinely ranked in the top 1% of all New Jersey emergency care facilities.

According to the CDC, the national average wait time to receive emergency care is one hour and twenty-five minutes, and most New Jersey emergency departments are even slower— clocking in at an average wait of nearly three hours. The average wait time at Holy Name is only a fraction of that, and patients in treatment areas can now be seen in as little as 3 minutes.

In emergency care, minutes can make the difference between life and death. Quickly choosing an emergency department during a crisis can be difficult, and a decision is better made beforehand based upon factors including a hospital’s designation as a specialized emergent care facility. For example, Holy Name is recognized by the American Heart Association as a top-rated health system for heart attack and stroke care.

"We have the technology and proficiency to effectively treat patients when time is most critical," said Dr. Tae Park, Medical Director of the Emergency Department. "In an emergency, Holy Name patients know they came to the right place."

When to go to the Emergency Room or call 911:

  1. Chest pain or pressure
  2. Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  3. Uncontrolled bleeding
  4. Severe injuries or pain
  5. Loss of consciousness or fainting
  6. Confusion or sudden severe headache
  7. Seizures or convulsions
  8. Compound fractures or broken bones
  9. Deep cuts or open wounds
  10. High fever with vomiting and/or diarrhea
  11. Severe allergic reactions
  12. Signs of stroke or heart attack
  13. Poisoning or an overdose from drugs or alcohol
  14. Prolonged dizziness or weakness
  15. Sudden inability to speak, see, hear, walk, or move