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Emergency Department busier than usual; flu season underway

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Emergency Department busier than usual; flu season underway

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Published: 12/23/2014 6:58 PM by  PRHC

                                  

Public Service Announcement 

Emergency Department busier than usual; flu season underway

Choose your health care provider wisely this holiday season

(PETERBOROUGH) Tuesday, December 23, 2014 - With the holiday season upon us, and flu cases on the rise this month, Peterborough Regional Health Centre (PRHC), the Peterborough Networked Family Health Team (PNFHT), and the Peterborough County-City Health Unit (PCCHU) are reminding the community of the alternate health care options available to them before considering a visit to the hospital’s Emergency Department.

“The Emergency Department is traditionally busier at this time of year, and with an increase in flu cases forecast for December and January, we expect to be busier than usual,” said Dr. Nancy White, Chief of Emergency Medicine at PRHC.

“We encourage all visitors to the ED to immediately wear a mask to protect themselves from potential flu exposure,” said Dr. White. Masks are available inside the Emergency Department entrance.

“We also encourage anyone considering a visit to the ED to assess whether the matter is non-urgent before making a decision about where to seek health care, and we ask for your patience if it takes longer for a physician to see you,” added Dr. White.

Meanwhile, the Peterborough Networked Family Health Team (PNFHT) reminds residents there are options to consider prior to a visit to the hospital’s Emergency Department. Family doctors and nurse practitioners at clinics across the city and county will be offering same-day appointments and extended-hours clinics.

“We have plans in place for the holidays and our doctors will be offering day, evening and weekend clinics," says Dr. Don Harterre, Physician Lead for the PNFHT. “We're here to care for you and your family, so please contact your doctor’s office.”

If you determine that your medical situation does not require urgent care, please consider the following options:

  • Call your family doctor or nurse practitioner – clinic information will be offered via the office voice mail message
  • Speak to a registered nurse by calling Telehealth Ontario (24 hours) at 1-866-797-0000

With flu on the rise throughout the province, the Peterborough County-City Health Unit reminds residents to get the flu shot – to protect themselves and others.    

“Influenza is circulating in Peterborough so getting a flu shot may help keep you well over the holidays. For those who do get the flu, early treatment with antivirals can help reduce the severity and risk of complications," says Dr. Rosana Pellizzari, Medical Officer of Health, adding the flu shot is recommended for everyone over six months of age. It's widely available at many local pharmacies, from doctors' offices and local walk-in clinics.

The Health Unit, family health teams and hospital wish all community members a safe and happy holiday. 

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For further information:

Rebecca Kerrivan, Communications
Peterborough Regional Health Centre                            
Tel: 705-743-2121, ext. 2234

Dr. Don Harterre, Lead Physician                                  
Peterborough Networked Family Health Team    
Tel: 705-742-8020

Brittany Cadence, Communications Supervisor
Peterborough County-City Health Unit
Tel: 705-743-1000, ext. 391

 

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