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Josyann Abisaab: Flu Season is Back-To the ER or Not, That is the Question

Josyann Abisaab: Flu Season is Back-To the ER or Not, That is the Question

Knowing when to go, and when to refrain from going to the emergency room can not only save you time, and money, but it can also save your life.

When the flu strikes there is no question that you should be examined by a health care professional, but the question is how urgent is it that you are checked immediately, or can you wait to make a short-notice appointment with your doctor?

The determination of whether or not to go to the emergency room should be based on how ill you are. Also, if there are other chronic conditions present as well. For instance, if someone with diabetes, asthma, COPD or congestive heart failure develops flu symptoms, he/she should be seen within one day by their regular doctor. If a short-notice appointment cannot be made, then a trip to the emergency room is in order.

Pregnant women should also take the flu seriously, more so than non-pregnant women. Other generally healthy people, including children are usually better off staying home, even if they are not eating during their illness. As long as the patient is holding down liquids, there is no immediate health threat if a person, including a child, does not eat for a week, or even two.

The following symptoms may indicate that the patient may need antiviral drugs like Tamiflu, or even the need for hospitalization:

•    Fever of 102 degrees or higher
•    Serious fatigue
•    Stubborn cough with either yellow or green phlegm
•    Difficulty breathing, shortness of breath
•    Confusion
•    Feeling light-headed or thirsty from dehydration which can be caused by vomiting and/or diarrhea.

Josyann Abisaab, MD, is an emergency room physician at New York-Presbyterian, as well as an Assistant Professor of Clinical Medicine at the Weill Cornell Medical College.

Three Emergency Medicine Locations of New York-Presbyterian Hospital

Three Emergency Medicine Locations of New York-Presbyterian Hospital

NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center

New York-Presbyterian Hospital offers New Yorkers and others from nearby locations cutting edge emergency medical care at no less than three locations: Weill Cornell at 525 East 68th Street; Columbia Hospital at 622 West 168th Street; and at the Allen Hospital at 5141 Broadway at 220th Street.

New York-Presbyterian Hospital prides itself on its goal to provide the highest quality care possible, using the most modern and cutting edge techniques and equipment available, to all New Yorkers no matter their background. The emergency medical facility also offers quaternary referral centers for those arriving at the emergency room with complicated medical or surgical issues from all over the globe.

Josyann Abisaab, MD, is an emergency room physician at New York-Presbyterian, as well as an Assistant Professor of Clinical Medicine at the Weill Cornell Medical College. In her capacity as a physician working in the front lines of emergency care, Dr. Josyann Abisaab is able to bring back to the classroom the lessons of the emergency room. This is just one part of the uniqueness and strength that makes New York-Presbyterian Emergency Medicine strategically positioned, in both the academic and clinical realms, to advance successfully into the future of state-of-the art emergency care.