As is the case with most hospitals across the country currently, patients seeking care at the emergency department on the Miles campus in Damariscotta are experiencing unusually high wait times due to a rising number of patients.
Many of those who arrive do not need emergent care, however, and they could have their needs met at their primary care physician’s office or at the St. Andrews Urgent Care Center in Boothbay Harbor from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. There are additional urgent care centers in Brunswick and Rockland as well.
More serious, potentially life-threatening conditions, like seizures, severe abdominal pain, or potential drug overdose require evaluation at the emergency department. Getting treatment for non-emergencies from your primary care provider or an urgent care center is an option for those whose symptoms are not life-threatening.
“We hope patients will consider their health needs and whether they can be effectively treated somewhere other than the emergency department,” said Timothy Fox, M.D., LincolnHealth’s Chief Medical Officer. “Many of our patients have minor, non-emergent needs, and when they are added to patients who are experiencing an emergency at the emergency department, the wait times for care will grow.”
While the urgent care center is also busy, the wait times are generally shorter. Those needing care can also call their primary care physician practice to ask if any appointments are available.
The urgent care team is composed of experienced emergency medicine providers, nurses, and support team members who are dedicated to providing high-quality, efficient care. It is open 363 days a year, closed only on Thanksgiving and Christmas Day.
Common conditions that are managed at the urgent care center include but are not limited to ear and eye infections, sore throats, dental pain, headaches, minor head injuries without loss of consciousness; nausea, vomiting and diarrhea, animal bites, puncture wounds, and wound checks, including stitch removal, dressing changes, and evaluations, and sport injuries.
Please call 9-1-1 if you have heart attack symptoms, including chest pain/pressure/tightness, shortness of breath, sweating, nausea; or stroke symptoms sudden weakness and/or numbness often on one side of body, speech or vision changes, dizziness. These symptoms require immediate evaluation at the nearest emergency department.