Be prepared to avoid a visit to the Emergency Department over the holidays

The holiday period is fast approaching and Grey Bruce hospitals are encouraging everyone to be prepared to help avoid a visit to the Emergency Department.

Knowing your healthcare options for the holiday period and having a plan for non-emergency situations is important.  Be prepared by:

  • Getting your flu shot
  • Contacting your family health care provider for office hours over the holidays
  • Making sure that everyone in your family has enough of their medications to last and medical equipment is in good working condition, including inhalers, oxygen, needles, glucose testing equipment, etc.

Although being prepared can help avoid a visit to the Emergency Department, there some situations that you can’t prepare for.  Some examples of when to go to the Emergency Department include:

  • Pains or tightness in the chest
  • Symptoms of stroke
  • Fractured or broken bones
  • Wounds that may need stitches
  • Severe pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sudden severe headaches, problems with vision, weakness, numbness and/or tingling in the face, arm or leg, trouble speaking, or dizziness
  • If your child is vomiting, has diarrhea and won’t eat or drink
  • When a baby under six months has a fever over 37.9 degrees C or 100 degrees F
  • When a child over six months has a fever over 38.5 degrees C or 101 degrees F

There are ten Emergency Departments in Grey Bruce that are open 24/7 – Durham, Hanover, Kincardine, Lion’s Head,  Markdale, Meaford, Owen Sound, Southampton, Walkerton and Wiarton. The Emergency Department in Chesley is open from 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM daily.  As always, your patience is appreciated, as there can be higher than average wait times over the holiday season. Patients are seen based on the seriousness of their illness.

Another option for non-emergent health care needs over the holidays is to speak to a registered nurse 24/7 at Telehealth Ontario (1-866-797-0000). The Mental Health Crisis Line is also available 24 hours per day, 7 days a week (1-877-470-5200).

The staff, physicians and volunteers of Grey Bruce Health Services, Hanover & District Hospital and South Bruce Grey Health Centre wishes everyone a safe and happy holiday.

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