Services & Specialties January 02, 2015

When Flu Strikes, Try Home Treatment If Possible

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is showing a high level of flu across the nation, including here in Ohio. Adena Regional Medical Center and many other area hospitals are at or near capacity with ill patients, and staff who have also been impacted by the flu virus. Our Emergency Departments are experiencing heavy volumes of patients, with significant wait times.

“By its nature, the Emergency Department is going to treat the most emergent cases first,” said Dr. John Fortney, Adena’s Chief Medical Officer. “That means despite your arrival time, if someone comes in who is in worse shape than you are, they are going to be seen first, and it may extend your wait time.”

In the case of most patients who believe they or a loved one may have the flu, a trip to the hospital is often not a necessity. The CDC recommends you take these steps if you or someone in your household gets the flu:

1)    Stay at home and rest;

2)    Avoid close contact with well people in your household, so you won’t make them sick;

3)    Drink plenty of water and other clear liquids to avoid dehydration; and

4)    Treat fever and cough with medicine you can buy (without a prescription) at the store.

The CDC has free information available with tips for taking care of someone with the flu at www.cdc.gov; or there is a direct link at www.facebook.com/adenahealthsystem.

If you become very sick; are pregnant; under the age of five, and especially under the age of two; are 65 years or older; or have a medical condition that puts you at high risk of flu complications (such as asthma); call you doctor to ask about antiviral medication to treat flu.

Emergency warning signs that signal someone should seek urgent medical care include: fast, troubled breathing; chest or abdominal pain; severe or persistent vomiting; sudden dizziness; and confusion.

Having a primary care physician/family doctor (PCP) is the best way to receive care when illness like flu strikes your household; and using facilities such as urgent care or store clinics are other alternatives when the physician office is closed. The Emergency Department should be the last choice for care in the case of a non-emergent illness. To locate a primary care physician or provider call 740-779-FIND (3463).