For those who live, work, and play in the Chippewa Valley, around-the-clock, high-quality emergency service is expected.
Before you have an emergency, be prepared by having a completed medical information history printed out and available for hospital staff.
24/7 Urgent Care
Because it’s always urgent – our Urgent Care is always open. This service is intended for patients with minor burns, earaches, sore throats, strains, sprains, urinary symptoms, minor fractures, insect bites, minor allergic reactions, nasal or sinus congestion, minor lacerations, work injuries, tooth or mouth pain, rashes, minor trauma, eye infections, cold symptoms and other ailments. Urgent Care is staffed by board-certified Infinity HealthCare emergency physicians, nurse practitioners and physician assistants and is located within the Emergency Department.
Backed by 24/7 ER
St. Joseph's Hospital is Level III Trauma Center and staffed 24 hours a day with board-certified emergency room physicians and specially trained nurses experienced in caring for patients with a variety of medical, surgical, and trauma-related emergencies. The ER is supported by a full complement of ancillary services, including radiology, imaging and lab services, biohazard, and Advanced Life Support ground and air medical service transport. Before you have an emergency, be prepared by having a completed medical information history printed out and available for hospital staff.
Click Here to Take a tour of our new Emergency Services Area
Click HERE for free printable records and forms
Information for Moms
It's that time of year, when sniffles, sneezes, colds and sore throats are running rampant throughout the Chippewa Valley. If your child comes down with a sore throat, how do you know if it's just a sore throat related to the common cold...or strep throat?(Full Story)
Almost all children will bump their heads, especially when they are babies or toddlers and are just learning to roll over, crawl or walk. And as they get older, their risk of getting a head injury from falls off of things like bicycles or playground equipment increases. And then as they get even older yet, their risk of head injury from sports-related activities is a concern of many parents.(Full Story)
Parents start to breathe a sigh of relief when their children are finally old enough to stay home alone – no babysitter or daycare needed. While teaching our kids to be safe at home might include things like safe cooking techniques, basic first aid and who to contact or what to do in case of an emergency – there is another area of concern parents should be alert to specifically with teens and even pre-teens.(Full Story)
St. Joseph's Hospital - Chippewa Falls FAQ
Q: How do I know if I should be seen as an Urgent Care patient or as an Emergency Department Patient?
At St Joseph’s, you don’t have to worry – simply come to the Emergency Department. Upon arrival, you will be seen by a nurse for initial triage. You will be asked questions about your particular symptoms. The nurse has specific criteria and will identify whether you should be directed to Urgent Care or Emergency Services.
Q: What are the symptoms of RSV?
RSV (respiratory syncytial virus) has symptoms similar to a cold such as cough, fever, runny nose, mattery eyes, sore through, but can also cause wheezing and difficultly breathing. Symptoms usually last 3-8 days but may last up to 4 weeks. The time of year is typically November – April, with a peak in January or February.
Q: Who is at highest risk?
Infants under six months of age and/or children with underlying lung disease (asthma, etc). Children exposed to second-hand smoke or attend daycare are also at higher risk.
Q: How is it spread and how can it be prevented?
RSV is spread by direct contact, such as coughing. It can be spread on hands , or when a child rubs their eyes or nose. Prevention is simple: use good hand washing, cover coughs/sneezes and avoid those that are ill with those symptoms.
Q: When should I see a doctor?
If your child has difficulty breathing, or laborious breathing (you can see nasal flaring), is lethargic or has a bluish tint around the lips, visit an Urgent Care center or your physician as soon as possible.
Q: So, when does the cold and flu season typically start?
From late fall to early winter, we tend to start seeing the cold/flu season begin.
Q: What are some of the typical symptoms of an upper respiratory cold?
People/children can experience symptoms such as runny noses, sneezing, sore throats, mild cough, and nasal congestion that can last from 7-10 days. With influenza people often tend to have fevers, fatigue, headaches, and muscle pain; this is often sudden in onset.
Q: What can we do at home to relieve some of the symptoms? What types of over the counter medications are recommended?
Depending on the age of the child, URI symptoms are often treated with OTC Ibuprofen, Tylenol, and often an anti-histamine such as Benadryl which can help with sleep and to dry up secretions. Because the common cold is often caused by a virus, treating the symptoms is what’s most important.
Q: When should we be concerned (or how will we know) that it’s turning into something worse and should consider taking our child in to see a doctor?
Consider bringing your child into the ER or UC with a high fever that is not relieved with medications, extreme vomiting, difficulty breathing (or barky cough), and/or abdominal pain.
Q: And finally, how can we help to prevent the common cold? Any tips?
WASH WASH WASH your hands…..frequently! Also, coughing or sneezing into your arm/sleeve can prevent the spreading of germs to others.
Here are some common questions our Emergency Services nurses get from concerned moms about whooping cough:
What is whooping cough and what are the signs/symptoms of it?
Whooping cough is a contagious disease that causes severe coughing for several months. It is most common in infants and children. Early stages are similar to a cold; with runny nose, mild cough watery eyes and mild fever. With whooping cough, the cold symptoms may get better but severe coughing may take over.
How do I know if my child has it?
When a child is coughing so hard they can't breathe, or they vomit after a coughing spell and feel very tired.
How can I prevent my child from getting it?
Whooping cough is very contagious and you can infect others by coughing, sneezing or touching hands to mouth. It's important to keep sick children at home while they are sick and make sure everyone washes their hands frequently.
If my child is vaccinated, can they still contract the disease? And if so, then what is the point of getting vaccinated?
Immunization may prevent a child from contracting whopping cough. If they do contract the disease, the vaccine lessens the severity of it, which is important for small children and infants.
What is the treatment for whooping cough?
If symptoms are severe, you will want to take your child to urgent care for testing and antibiotics. At home, humidifiers and fluids will help them feel more comfortable.
Heat and dehydration, especially in children, happens quickly. Here are some common concerns about dehydration our Emergency Services professionals give:
1. Dehydration can be prevented by promoting regular drink breaks throughout the day when kids are playing and the temperature is hot.
2. Water is best. The body prefers it, for children and adults alike.
3. Encourage play in shaded areas also helps, to keep the body cool.
Signs of dehydration:
- Decreased frequency of urination or dry diapers
- Upset stomach / not hungry
- Dry mouth
- No tears when child cries
- Lethargy (inactive more than usual)
- Irritability (crying and fussing)
Come to Urgent Care or ER:
- Vomiting for more than 24 hours,
- severe abdominal Pain
- fever over 103
- When in doubt – get it checked out.
Call the doctor’s office or urgent care for advice on whether or not to bring your child in for treatment.