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Emergency Medicine

The Emergency Department (ED or A&E) at Sengkang General Hospital provides 24-hour service for all medical emergencies. This includes medical attention for all trauma, non-trauma surgical and medical emergencies. At SKH, we understand how important it is to have access to timely medical attention in the case of an emergency, which is why our emergency department is robust, well-trained and committed to providing an effective emergency medical service to all patients.  

At SKH, we are a 24-hour centre that takes pride in working with a comprehensive list of dedicated in-house specialists to coordinate and administer evidence-based quality treatment for all medical and surgical emergencies. These emergencies include potentially life-threatening conditions, i.e., heart attacks, strokes, major trauma and acute burns, infections. Our healthcare team are committed to providing the best possible emergency care—safely and effectively.  

We have taken unprecedented steps to ensure that visits to our hospital’s Emergency Department are welcoming and safe. Your health is our top priority.  

When you arrive at our emergency department, your symptoms and medical condition will be promptly assessed by an experienced emergency nurse who will determine how high of a priority you are compared to the other current medical emergencies. It is important to note that priority of care is not based on the time of arrival but on the severity or potential severity of your condition worsening if not treated early.  

If, after your assessment, we determine that you are a non-emergent patient, please be advised that you might have to wait an average of more than 4 hours to be attended to by a doctor. If you require urgent but non-emergency medical attention, we strongly advise you to visit your GP or a nearby medical care facility for an initial assessment of your condition.

Registration and Triage

As an Emergency Department, our priority is to attend to patients with serious illnesses and injuries. To facilitate this, we will assess your medical condition at Triage after you have registered at our Registration Counter, and sometimes, even before registration if the situation so demands. The Emergency Department at SKH is relatively busy.  

Triage

At the Triage Room, our staff will:  
  • take a short history of your illness.
  • record your vital signs like temperature, pulse, respiration and blood pressure.
  • Please assist the staff by giving them all the relevant and accurate information.

You will be assigned a specific priority level according to the severity of your medical condition. Our staff will advise you of the appropriate area to go to for consultation and treatment. There are separate waiting areas for patients with different priority levels.   Our staff will also inform you of the estimated waiting time. We would like to assure you that all efforts will be made to see you promptly.  


Priority Levels

There are four different levels of priority and they are as follows:  

Priority 1 - Resuscitation & Critically-ill Patients

Patients in a state of cardiovascular or imminent collapse are attended to immediately at the Resuscitation Area. The doctors will speak to the family member after they have assessed and stabilised the patient. Examples: Heart attack, severe injuries, severe bleeding, shock and severe asthma attack.  

Priority 2 - Major Emergencies (Non-Ambulant)

Patients with acute medical conditions that must be initially treated in the hospital. They are in stable condition and do not require resuscitation. They are required to be trolley-based for patient examination and treatment. These patients are attended to early at the Critical Care Area. The doctors will speak to the family member after they have initially assessed the patient. Examples: Major limb fracture / dislocation, moderate injuries, severe abdominal pain and other severe medical illnesses.  

Priority 3 - Minor Emergencies (Ambulant)

Patients with acute symptoms who are in a stable condition and are able to walk. These patients may be treated by General Practitioners (GP) / Family Physicians with acute care resources or at the Emergency Department. Family members may enter the consultation room with the patient, but they may be asked to take a seat in the waiting area when examinations and procedures are being performed. Examples: Sprains, minor injuries, minor abdominal pain, vomiting, fever, rashes and mild headaches.  

Priority 4 - Non-Emergency

An old injury or a condition that has been present for a long time. These patients should preferably be attended to by General Practitioners (GP) / Family Physicians. The Emergency Department is not the appropriate facility for their care. You may wish to visit your General Practitioner or a polyclinic. Examples: Chronic joint pains, chronic skin rash, long-term nasal discharge, cataracts, and sore throats.  


General Emergencies

  • The Emergency Care team assesses and treats patients with general medical and surgical emergencies. They will carry out resuscitation for all life-threatening conditions. Once stabilised and if patient requires acute cardiac or stroke care, they will be transferred to National Heart Centre Singapore (NHCS) or NNI @ TTSH respectively.
  • Basic care for all cardiovascular emergencies including physical examination, ECG, X-ray, blood investigation and basic supportive treatment is provided.
  • Patients with acute stroke symptoms in less than 6 hours will be managed in SKH ED and transferred to NNI @ TTSH.
 

Trauma and Orthopaedic Emergencies

  • The Emergency Department also provides medical treatment for patients with major and minor trauma. This includes resuscitation and other basic trauma treatment procedures such as suturing, basic care of wounds and setting of simple fractures and dislocations.
  • Minor surgical procedures such as toilet and suture of laceration can also be carried out by our team.
 

Children below 12 years old

  • Our paediatricians are stationed at KK Women's and Children's Hospital (KKH). However, our Emergency Department provides initial evaluation, stabilisation and treatment to acutely ill or injured infants and children. Usually before sending young patients over, we will stabilise their condition first. If a child requires admission, transfer to KKH will be done.
 

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FAQs

What do I need to bring when visiting the SKH emergency department?

To make the process of your treatment as smooth as possible, be sure to have your Identity Card, Work Permit, foreigner pass or passport with you. However, as this is an emergency case, we understand that bringing these documents is not always possible. For patients who do not bring these documents with them, treatment will proceed, and family members will be asked to bring their documents as soon as possible.  

How do I know whether I need to visit the emergency hospital?

If you have a minor injury or heath problem, please do not visit the Emergency Department as this is only for patients with life-threatening conditions. You should visit your regular doctor (GP) (not the Emergency Department) if you are feeling unwell, have symptoms suggestive of common medical conditions such as colds, small cuts, abdominal pain, headache etc, or if you feel your condition is not an emergency.  

How long will I have to wait to be treated at SKH’s emergency department?

Waiting times vary based on the severity of your condition which will be assessed by one of our emergency nurses. Your waiting time is not dependent on when you arrive but rather the severity of your condition if it is not treated immediately. Patients of all ages will be assessed & treated in this fashion (this includes patients who walk in on their own or are brought by ambulance).

 

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