Hospitals ask patients to limit ER use to ‘true emergencies’ as weather impacts volumes

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The inclement weather in Sarnia-Lambton is making for unusually high volumes in the Emergency Departments at Bluewater Health hospitals in Sarnia and Petrolia.

Officials are asking residents to avoiding visiting the ERs unless they are in need of emergency care.
They define emergency cases as those who are experiencing pains or tightness in the chest, shortness of breath, choking or difficulty breathing, fractured or broken bones, stroke symptoms and severe symptoms in babies and children.
They say non-ER issues include cuts and wounds, sprains, ear infections, coughs and congestion and rashes. 
For these situations, hospital officials suggest residents should pursue alternate means of care, including calling TeleHeath Ontario or your family doctor.
"Bluewater Health also is asking people not to take unnecessary risks for scheduled appointments," said Communications Specialist, Tara Young in an email this morning.  "Staff will work (with patients) to reschedule thos appointments for a later time," Young added.
Meantime, the system that has pounded the area since late Sunday has now moved east of Petrolia and will continue to move in that direction reaching London later today.

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