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Unnecessary hospital trips clogging up Fort St. John ER

A seasonal uptick in patients at the Fort St. John Hospital has prompted Northern Health to issue a public notice asking residents to avoid unnecessary trips to the emergency room.
FSJ hospital
The Fort St. John Hospital.

A seasonal uptick in patients at the Fort St. John Hospital has prompted Northern Health to issue a public notice asking residents to avoid unnecessary trips to the emergency room.

Emergency rooms are for patients who are experiencing sudden and unusual changes to their health, from breathing troubles to severe bleeding, broken bones, overdoses, and eye injuries, Northern Health noted in a bulletin issued Friday.

“Due to seasonal conditions, the hospital is experiencing an increase in patients, and is asking the public for assistance by using health care resources appropriately,” the bulletin reads.

Northern Health says the following steps can be taken to avoid unnecessary trips to the hospital:

Patients who aren’t sure whether their condition would warrant an emergency room visit, or who need health advice can call HealthLink BC (8-1-1), or visit www.HealthLinkBC.ca for non-emergency health information from nurses, dietitians, and pharmacists 24/7. For deaf and hearing-impaired assistance, call 7-1-1.

• For non-urgent care, use community health services including making an appointment with your family practitioner 

• Remember, flu season is upon us; check immunizebc.ca for clinic dates. If you have a cold, call HealthLinkBC at 8-1-1 for advice, or ask your pharmacist about over-the-counter medications to ease symptoms. 

• If you are concerned about a possible poisoning or exposure to a toxic substance, call Poison Control at 1-800-567-8911.