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Emergency Care

The Emergency Care Department at Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Hospital is committed to providing the highest quality medical care in the most efficient way possible. Our emergency room is staffed by board-certified emergency medicine specialists, and has been specifically designed for optimal assessment, treatment and follow up so that wait times are reduced.

Every patient, regardless of the type of problem or the degree of its severity, will see a physician who is board-certified in emergency medicine. All staff are committed to providing excellent customer service.

There are 21 total beds in the emergency care department, all with monitoring functions. Eight “Fast Track Unit" beds are specifically devoted to quickly treating more minor issues such as lacerations, wounds, colds, mild asthma, and minor orthopedic injuries. The remaining beds are reserved for more severe emergencies, and an isolation room has been set aside for infectious diseases.

When you walk through the emergency room doors, a medical professional greets you right away and enters your information into a secure electronic health record system. This allows all medical staff involved in your care to access your complete health information and history, provide instant updates to your chart, and be automatically alerted when tests, medicine or other treatment is needed. Additionally, you will be able to learn about our Patient Portal, YourMLKCH, and register for free. This will allow you to securely access your health information while you are at MLKCH and from home.

After a quick “triage interview” to assess your condition, you are assigned a care manager who will make sure everything related to your hospital visit is coordinated and seamless, from the moment you enter the building until you are back home and managing day-to-day life.

MLKCH’s Emergency Care Department offers basic emergency care for the following injuries and conditions:

  • Persistent chest pain, especially if it radiates to your arm or jaw or is accompanied by sweating, vomiting or shortness of breath
  • Persistent shortness of breath or wheezing
  • Severe pain, particularly in the abdomen or starting halfway down the back
  • Loss of balance or fainting
  • Difficulty speaking, altered mental status or confusion
  • Weakness or paralysis
  • Severe heart palpitations
  • Sudden, severe headache
  • Sudden testicular pain and swelling
  • Newborn baby with a fever
  • Intestinal bleeding
  • Falls with injury or while taking blood thinning medications
  • Loss of vision
  • Head and eye injuries
  • Broken bones or dislocated joints
  • Deep cuts that require stitches – especially on the face
  • Head or eye injuries
  • Severe flu or cold symptoms
  • High fevers or fevers with rash
  • Bleeding that won’t stop or a large open wound
  • Vaginal bleeding with pregnancy
  • Repeated vomiting
  • Serious burns
  • Seizures without a previous diagnosis of epilepsy

You may also be sent to the emergency care department by your doctor if you have an underlying condition, such as hypertension or diabetes, which could complicate your diagnosis and require extra care.

Trauma vs. ER vs. Urgent Care

Knowing the difference between emergency care and urgent care and where to seek treatment could save your life in an emergency. It is an important part of managing your own health care. It is also critical to making sure that the health care resources available on the MLK Campus are used properly and efficiently so that every patient receives the right care as quickly as possible.

A trauma center provides medical services to patients who have injuries resulting from massive blunt trauma such as an automobile accident, gunshot wound or train or airplane crash. Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Hospital does not have a trauma center. In the event that a patient in the community needs one, they will be transported to a nearby trauma facility.

When to go to the Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Hospital Emergency Room: Like all emergency rooms, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Hospital Emergency Room treats serious, life-threatening conditions that do not result from traumatic injuries. These include:

•Chest pain or heart attack

•Difficulty breathing


•Severe bleeding or head injury

•Loss of consciousness

•Sudden loss of vision or blurred vision

For any condition that is serious or life-threatening, the best action is to call 911 rather than transporting yourself or a loved on to the emergency room or trauma center. Emergency responders can begin providing care the moment they arrive. They will also determine if you or your loved one needs to be transported to the Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Hospital emergency room or to a nearby trauma center. We encourage you to call 911 and let the emergency responders make the determination. You will get the right health care faster.

When it’s not an emergency: the Urgent Care Center at Martin Luther King, Jr. Multi-Service Ambulatory Care Center Link to the MLK Outpatient Center

If you have a medical condition or illnesses that you're concerned about, but it is not a life threatening condition, the Urgent Care Center at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Outpatient Center is the right place to go if you cannot get in to see your primary care doctor. Patients at urgent care centers are typically seen faster than in an emergency room. The cost of treatment is less expensive in an urgent care setting than in an Emergency Room. If the medical professionals at urgent care think that you need an emergency department, they will help get you there in a timely manner.

Go to the Urgent Care Center at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Outpatient Center for the following types of medical conditions:

•Minor burns or injuries

•Sprains and strains

•Coughs, colds, and sore throats

•Ear infections

•Allergic reactions (non life-threatening)

•Fever or flu-like symptoms

•Rash or other skin irritations

•Mild asthma

•Animal bites

•Broken Bones