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Thank you for subscribing to In Great Health, an Avera eNewsletter that provides you with useful information about you and your family's health care. In Great Health is a newly revamped Avera eNewsletter that replaces Avera Women's Health, Avera Children's Health and Avera Men's Health. You now will receive this eNewsletter monthly. If you no longer wish to receive this publication, you can unsubscribe at any time.

To learn more about Avera's services and community events, or to find a physician, visit

To your health,

The Avera Staff


Summer is typically a time when people need more emergency services, and Avera is here for you 24 hours a day. Take some precautions now so if an emergency does occur, you're prepared.

First, learn the symptoms that require emergency care. If a person's medical condition is life-threatening, call 911 immediately. If the emergency isn't life-threatening, go to your nearest Emergency Department for care.

The reasons people need emergency care vary widely yet reflect the health of the nation, says Dr. Terence Parr, a physician in the Emergency Department at Avera Marshall in Marshall, Minn.

"We see the whole gamut of care, including heart disease, trauma, lung disease and acute illnesses," he says. "A lot of what we do is relieve pain and help people get over their acute illnesses quicker so they can get back to productivity."

If an illness or injury is not severe, and you have time, bring a list of medications taken by the patient when you go to the Emergency Department. Know the patient's allergies and immunizations, and bring his or her insurance information with you. These steps will help the care process go more smoothly.

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New eEmergency technology at some Avera facilities connects rural physicians with offsite specialists. This means you receive the best care possible, no matter where you live.

eEmergency is an innovative program that links emergency-trained physicians and rural physicians to provide 24-hour access to specialty care. The program links two-way video equipment between Avera hospitals and a hub located in Sioux Falls, S.D. The around-the-clock eEmergency team supports rural physicians and providers through access to a consult on request and ensures immediate emergency care.

eEmergency benefits you because it may allow you to stay near home to receive emergency care instead of being transferred to another hospital for specialist care.

"This is an important resource that we offer," says Dr. Parr. "We can use the technology to help us stabilize more than one patient at a time. Having those specialists available for consultation is invaluable."

Offered at various Avera locations, eEmergency is part of Avera eCARE™, a suite of innovative technology applications leveraged by highly trained staff and spanning the continuum of care.

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Sometimes it's difficult to know whether a condition should be covered by routine medical care, through treatment at urgent care or by a visit to the Emergency Department. Maybe you're not sure when it's best to call 911. Keep these tips in mind when making a decision.

Call Avera Ask-A-Nurse. This tool can help you judge the severity of the situation and direct you to an Avera facility near you. Qualified nurses answer medical questions 24 hours a day on this community service phone number. To reach Avera Ask-A-Nurse, call 1-877-AT-AVERA (282-8372).

Use primary care for routine health concerns. Your primary health care provider takes care of most of your health concerns, including routine prevention. Make an appointment with your health care provider for concerns such as colds and flu, aches and pains, fevers, mild cases of diarrhea and sore throats.

If you don't have a primary health care provider, learn more about selecting one, and then find an Avera doctor here.

Emergency care is for life-threatening situations. If you have a severe injury or illness, go to the Emergency Department or call 911 for medical assistance. Examples of conditions that need emergency care are chest pain, amputations or severe lacerations, breathing obstructions, severe burns, drug overdoses or poisonings, large bone fractures, seizures and suspected heart attacks.

Urgent care covers the gray areas. If your condition is not life-threatening but it can't wait until an appointment with your primary health care provider, consider using urgent care. Urgent care is suitable for episodes of asthma, back pain, moderate burns, eye irritations, migraine headaches and small bone fractures.

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In Great Health online archive.

In Great Health is one in a series of In Great Health™ eNewsletters that gives readers valuable information about health and wellness at Avera facilities. It is not intended to replace personal medical advice, which should be obtained directly from a physician.