Medical City Healthcare - January 31, 2023
by Becky Frusher

If you've ever asked yourself, a friend, a coworker or the checker at the grocery store — "Should I see a doctor for this?" or "Should I take my child to the doctor for that?" — there's a better option. Ask a nurse! Now you can, day or night, with Medical City Healthcare's free, 24/7 Ask a Nurse hotline. The hotline is staffed with nurses who are experts in helping North Texans with their health and medical-related questions and much more.

Ask a Nurse phone numbers.

Ask a Nurse
(833) 612-1999

Medical City Children’s Hospital
(888) 563-KIDS

On average, about half the people who call Ask a Nurse are referred to follow-up care.

The RNs who answer Ask a Nurse calls refer approximately:

  • 20.2% to an emergency room (ER)
  • 17% to a healthcare provider/physician/specialist
  • 8.7% to home care, with care advice included
  • 3.9% to emergency medical services (EMS/911)
  • 1% to poison control

Ask a Nurse call topics.

With seasonal variations, the top 6 calls the nurses receive are roughly the same for adults and children. In the fall, call topics include immunizations — especially if there's a new strain of flu or COVID-19 — as well as breast care in October. Winter calls include questions about coughs, and sore throats and in summer it's a lot of and sunburn. Whatever's in the news also affects the calls received, including dry drowning and others.

Here are 6 of the top Ask a Nurse call topics for adults and children:

Abdominal/Stomach Pain

Abdominal pain is the No. 1 cause of emergency room visits in the U.S. Stomach pain can be an indication of a virus or food poisoning or it could be something more serious, such as a gallbladder attack, colitis or pancreas issues.

Head to the ER with stomach pain if it's severe or accompanied by

  • Bleeding, either through vomiting or bowel movement
  • Nausea, vomiting or dehydration
  • High fever

Fever

Most fevers are a symptom of a harmless viral infection, especially in children. Their still-maturing immune systems attack every germ at full force, leading to lots of fevers and only rarely (about 1 in 100) a serious illness.

Constipation

Constipation sends more than 700,000 Americans to the ER every year, including children and people using or abusing opioid pain relievers. Since 1997, hospitalizations due to constipation have more than doubled.

Vomiting

Your body is at least 50% water. Uncontrolled or repeated vomiting can seriously deplete your body's water reserves and most of us aren't drinking enough water to begin with. It doesn't take much — as little as a 1% loss of water — to experience dehydration symptoms. Dehydration can happen quickly, especially in infants.

Rash

A skin rash is a common medical symptom with a large number of potential causes, including infections, allergic reactions, heat, medications and immune system disorders. Allergic reactions can come on suddenly and turn from bad to worse quickly. You should head to the ER if you have:

  • Hives all over your body
  • Breathing problems

Cough, cold, congestion

Many widespread respiratory illnesses, such as the common cold, bronchitis, pneumonia and croup are caused by the RSV virus. In children under three, RSV can cause bronchiolitis, which is the most common cause of hospitalization in infants under 12 months old. Flu is another respiratory illness that can cause complications, such as breathing problems, pneumonia and even sepsis.

You should always call 911 if you are having a medical emergency.

Medical City Healthcare provides comprehensive emergency services for adults and children across North Texas.

At Medical City Healthcare, we’re dedicated to the care and improvement of human life. So, we hope you'll Take Care!

For more information, call our Ask a Nurse hotline 24/7 or use Find a Doctor online.

You can also get care for minor injuries or illness at one of the many DFW CareNow® Urgent Care locations, with convenient Web Check-In® so you can wait in the comfort of your home.

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The post When You Need Free, 24/7 Health Information, Ask a Nurse! appeared first on LifeSigns in 2017.