Are there separate COVID-19 and non-Covid treatment areas?

Yes. Your Emergency Centre has adjusted our patient flow to ensure that it remains patient-centric while also serving to minimise the risk for our patients. Once you have completed the screening at the entrance of the EC, you will be directed towards the appropriate section for treatment. PPE is provided to staff members according the risk and level of care being delivered in each of these treatment areas.

Can you explain the triage system – and how Emergency Centres operate?

The triage system is an international system designed to prioritize treatment  to patients based on the severity of the presentation. It correlates clinical urgency to a score and a colour which allows staff to deliver time critical interventions to patients. A patient triaged as a RED, is critically ill and requires immediate intervention. Whereas a patient who is triaged as GREEN, is stable and is able to wait for up to 4 hours.

Can I accompany my child into the Emergency Centre?

Yes, a parent must accompany a minor child into the Emergency Centre and is welcome to board with the child when admitted to the paediatric unit. This parent will have to undergo screening along with the child in order to reduce risk for all stakeholders.

Can I accompany my parent if they are vulnerable or need assistance within the Emergency Centre?

Visitors are permitted in the EC subject to the COVID screening process and hospital discretion.  Ongoing variations in COVID infections in the country however could result in changes to the visitors policy.  Please do not hesitate to ask a staff member if you require further information.

As hospitals are practicing access control to limit the number of people accompanying patients into the Emergency Centre, how will I know how they are progressing and how long I can expect to wait?

Staff members performing access control can assist by relaying messages between the parties. The expected time to receive care may depend on the patient’s condition as well as the number of patients seeking out care at that particular time. We understand that admission to an Emergency Centre may be an unexpected and emotional experience, and we are here to assist you.

If a family member is admitted to hospital, will I be permitted to visit?

If your family member or friend is admitted to a Mediclinic hospital but is not a COVID-19 patient, there are visiting hours that allow access. As part of our screening for patients being admitted to the hospital, each patient will undergo a COVID-19 test to better understand their condition.

Visiting hours vary between the hospitals depending on the progress of the pandemic, and numbers of patients currently admitted to that facility. Please contact the specific unit your family member is admitted to, to clarify visitor access.

Should your family member be a COVID-19 patient, access will be limited. This is to reduce the risk for the community and staff alike. We highly recommend making use of digital devices to contact your loved ones, rest assured we provide wifi access in our facilities to ensure that family members are accessible. However, if your relative is in a very serious condition and is not able to engage in this manner, a delegated family member can contact the hospital daily for updates on the patient. The doctor and staff will provide all the relevant news on the patient’s progress.

My child had an accident. Who should I call?

Please take your child to the closest Emergency Centre. In an emergency, please call ER24 on 084 124 for emergency medical assistance. 

I have a high fever. What do I do?

Infants

An unexplained fever is a greater cause for concern in infants and in children than in adults. Call your baby's doctor if your child is:

  • Younger than age 3 months and has a temperature of 38°C or higher.
  • Between ages 3 and 6 months has a fever and seems unusually irritable, lethargic or uncomfortable or has a temperature higher than 38.9°C.
  • Between ages 6 and 24 months and has a fever that lasts longer than one day but shows no other symptoms. If your child also has other signs and symptoms, such as a cold, cough or diarrhea, you might call your child's doctor sooner based on severity.
 

Children

  • There's probably no cause for alarm if your child has a fever but is drinking fluids and playing.
  • Call your child's doctor if your child:
  • Is listless or irritable, vomits repeatedly, has a severe headache or stomach ache, or has any other symptoms causing significant discomfort.
  • Has a fever that lasts longer than three days.
  • Appears listless and has poor eye contact with you.

 

Adults

Call your doctor if your temperature is 39°C or higher. Seek immediate medical attention if any of these signs or symptoms accompanies a fever:

  • Severe headache
  • Unusual skin rash, especially if the rash rapidly worsens
  • Unusual sensitivity to bright light
  • Stiff neck and pain when you bend your head forward
  • Confusion
  • Persistent vomiting
  • Difficulty breathing or chest pain
  • Abdominal pain or pain when urinating
  • Convulsions or seizures

I think someone is having a stroke – what do I do?

FAST is an acronym to help you remember the early signs of a stroke.

Face drooping. One side of the face droops or is numb. When asked to smile, the person’s smile looks uneven.

Arm weakness. One arm could feel weak or numb. When asked to raise both arms with both eyes closed, one of the person’s arms will drift downward.

Speech difficulty. The person could have trouble speaking. Speech will sound slurred, or the words will be hard to understand. When asked to repeat a simple sentence like “The sky is blue,” the person will have trouble repeating it correctly.

Time to call for help. If the person shows any of the above symptoms, call ER24 on 084 124.

Will I be screened for signs and symptoms of COVID-19 when I arrive at a Mediclinic Emergency Centre?

Yes Mediclinic has implemented strict access control measures to reduce the risk of to patients, staff and doctors. Your temperature will be taken and screening questions will be asked. You will then be directed to the appropriate area for assistance.

What will happen when I arrive at the Emergency Centre?

You will be triaged into specific categories that determine the speed with which you need to be seen and it helps the Emeregency Centre staff prioritise the sickest patients.

What is the hospital Emergency Centre mask policy?

Mediclinic requires all patients and persons assisting patients to wear a cloth mask. The wearing of other personal protective equipment  (e.g. visors, surgical or N95 masks) will depend on the treatment area or treatment intervention being performed. These guidelines on the use of PPE are in keeping with national guidelines. 

I’m not sure whether my condition is “urgent”. Who can I contact?

If you have COVID-19 related queries you can call the Mediclinic COVID-19 hotline (0860 24 00 24) at any time. Our staff will listen to your problem and advise you on the level of urgency and steps to follow.

If you do not have a family doctor, and would like assistance from a GP, consider booking a virtual (or in-person) consultation with an Intercare GP for further advice. Appointments can be made online at https://www.intercare.co.za/bookings

I have pain, but wish to avoid going to hospital at the present time.

If you have pain it is absolutely vital that you consult a doctor and don’t avoid a consultation because of the current crisis. Particularly people who are chronically ill run the risk that their condition can worsen due to a lack of medical care, or that complications can arise if a procedure is done too late. We are committed to assisting all patients, regardless of whether they have COVID-19.

How high is the risk of contracting COVID-19 at the emergency department or in hospital?

In addition to all the controls required by the Department of Health and the Department of Labour, we have implemented specific controls to prevent the transmission of COVID-19 in our facilities. These controls include strict access control, universal masking, screening for COVID-19 symptoms on entry into the hospital and daily (if you are a patient), dedicated areas of the Emergency Centre and hospital for COVID and non-COVID cases and testing all admitted patients for COVID-19.

I have an appointment for a doctor’s consultation, an examination or a planned operation at a Mediclinic hospital. Will this appointment take place?

Please contact your doctor’s rooms directly to confirm any appointment and special arrangements that are being made to ensure limited exposure between clients. Elective surgery has been scaled up, but this is dependent on a number of factors, which your doctor can discuss with you directly. 

Will I be turned away in an emergency during a COVID-19 wave?

Patients arriving at a Mediclinic Emergency Centre follow the triage process whereby clinical priority is determined. This means that all patients will be attended to, with priority given to those who have the most urgent need for care.If there are capacity constraints at that facility, urgent cases will be stabilised and admitted, or transferred to another suitable facility to ensure that they receive the appropriate care. Mediclinic hospitals are in constant contact with other hospitals to understand demand for care at each facility and best manage the flow of patients.