What to Expect in the ER

The Emergency Department at UM BWMC is one of the busiest in the state of Maryland. We see over 100,000 patients a year, with conditions varying from cuts, falls and motor vehicle accents, to life-threatening emergencies such as heart attacks and strokes. We have over 70 treatment areas with dedicated areas specializing in certain types of health conditions. We have over 30 emergency physicians and over 250 emergency nurses and staff.

What's different about UM BWMC's Emergency Department?

At UM Baltimore Washington Medical Center, our goal is to get the patients seen immediately by a physician or physician assistant. Paperwork is left to the end, so we can address the concerns that brought you into the ED today. The sooner we can get you seen, the sooner we can address your concerns, and the sooner we can address the pain that you're having. In addition, we have the most current medical technology available to us, and consultants available to us in nearly every major medical field.

What are the different areas of the Emergency Department?

There are many different areas to our emergency department, and based on what your concern is, the physician will move you to the appropriate area.

  1. Main: The main pod is where our patients with serious or life-threatening injuries are seen. Such examples include, but are not limited to, heart attacks, stroke, confusion, loss of consciousness and the elderly with abdominal pain.
  2. Staging: The staging area is where a team of providers will treat ailments including lacerations, abscesses, broken bones, abdominal pain and migraine headaches.
  3. Pediatric: We have experienced emergency physicians and board certified pediatricians in the pediatric emergency unit 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If your child requires admission to the hospital, UM BWMC has a secure inpatient pediatric unit that will provide the best care for your child.
  4. Mental Health: If you are feeling anxious or depressed, and you feel you need to talk to someone or may need to be admitted to the hospital for your safety, we have Mental Health Clinicians on staff 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. They work hand-in-hand with the physician to determine the best course of action for you or your loved one. They will speak with the patient, family and a psychiatrist if necessary to make sure you are safe.

When do I provide my insurance information?

Regardless of whether you have insurance or not, the goal of our emergency department is to address your medical concerns immediately. That is why we do not delay your care to obtain insurance information. We sometimes try to obtain that information during your stay as long as it does not interfere with your tests and treatments. If you are discharged, we will obtain this information at exit registration.

Does your ER treat children?

All the providers at the Emergency Department at UM BWMC are able to see children of all ages--from newborns to teenagers. In addition, we have a pediatrician available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, meaning that your child will receive the best level of care possible in our emergency department.

What are some common symptoms of a heart attack?

The most common symptom of a heart attack is chest pain. Chest pain is often described as discomfort that comes and goes and feels like a pressure or squeezing. Everyone should be aware that chest pain is not the only symptom that can be a sign of a heart attack. Shortness of breath, nausea, vomiting, jaw pain, back pain, or even cold sweats can also be a sign of a heart attack. While this is true for any patient, this is especially true for diabetics and women. At UM BWMC, we have cardiologists available at all hours to perform life-saving procedures such as an angioplasty, which will restore the blood flow the heart so desperately needs.

What are some common symptoms of a stroke?

It's extremely important for everyone to be able to recognize the signs of a stroke. Symptoms include numbness to one side of the body or weakness, difficulty seeing, sudden severe confusion, or headache. As with any emergency, you should call 911 immediately. As a Primary Stroke Center, our emergency department and neurology department are able to provide the life-saving treatments that are needed during a stroke. With this designation, ambulances are allowed to come directly to our hospital, even bypassing other hospitals so we may provide you the treatment you need.

How do I know if I should visit the Emergency Department?

People are often concerned when they should come to the emergency department. It is not often the decision of the patient to be able to make that determination. If you feel like you're having an emergency that needs to be dealt with immediately, we feel you should come to the emergency department no matter what. If you have the ability to talk to your primary care physician, please do. But do not let that stop you from coming in the ED if you feel it is necessary. Click here for some examples of which facilities can treat your condition.