Emergency Room 23 Hour Observation

When a patient needs urgent medical attention, it may not be evident right away if there is a need for hospital admission. It could be a condition suitable for treatment at an ER, without the need for a hospital stay.

In these circumstances, up to 23 hours of observation proves to be the best option. The Emergency Center offers observation stays that enable doctors to monitor the patient’s symptoms and determine if hospitalization is needed. If a hospital admission is necessary, The Emergency Center can admit the patient and BYPASS the busy hospital’s emergency room, saving the patient hours of valuable, and potentially life- saving, time.

23 Hour Observation

What is Observation Stay?

Sometimes a patient will receive several hours of medical evaluation so the doctor can determine whether or not the patient should be admitted into a hospital. Often, they can be treated and discharged from the ER. This evaluation period is what is referred to as “observation stay”, or commonly referred to as “OBS”. These patients benefit from observation care without having to be admitted into a hospital.

Warning Signs of an Emergency

People head to an emergency room when experiencing particular symptoms that could indicate any number of medical issues or illnesses. Some of the warning signs of a medical emergency which could lead to observation are:

  • Chest pain. Chest pain ranges in severity and is a common symptom for various ailments. It is one of the more notable symptoms with asthma attacks and chest colds, however, the very same symptom is linked to strokes & heart attacks. Due to the life-threatening seriousness of a stroke or heart attack, something as common as chest pain may be a condition for observation care.
  • Severe back pain. Another common symptom is severe back pain, which can be the result of overworking and poor lifting. In extreme circumstances, severe back pain can come from very serious problems. These conditions include spinal fracture, a herniated disc, kidney infection or another medical emergency. Because even seemingly mild symptoms can be signs of a serious condition, 23 hour observation gives doctors time to provide a more accurate diagnosis before making the decision to admit a patient into the ER.
  • Dehydration. It is easy to become mildly dehydrated while in hotter climates or during a workout. But when symptoms are severe, observation care may be required to ensure that they do not escalate. Certain warning signs for chronic dehydration include confusion, dizziness, chest pains, seizures, 103 degree fever and fainting.
  • Asthma. With over 3 million cases reported each year, asthma ranges in severity from mild to chronic. However, even sufferers of mild asthma can experience potentially fatal attacks. If a patient is experiencing an asthma episode severe enough to warrant an ER visit, they should remain in observation to determine if the the attack will abate.
  • Allergic reactions. Sometimes, an allergic reaction is simply an itchy and annoying rash and can be treated at home. However, there are many life threatening allergies that require immediate attention. These types of allergic reactions can result in anaphylaxis, which can be fatal if left untreated. Swollen lips, itchy throat, coughing, rapid heartbeat, nausea, vomiting and/or fainting from an allergic reaction will require emergency care. The Emergency Center provides immediate, no wait medical attention with up to 23 hours of observation care for allergic reactions.
  • Shortness of Breath. Breathing problems can be a warning sign for many serious medical problems, such as a punctured lung, heart attack, pulmonary embolism or even a heart attack. Individuals should seek medical attention immediately when experiencing difficulty breathing.

Benefits of OBS Care

OBS care not only gives patients a chance to avoid an emergency hospital visit, it also gives hospitals more opportunities to provide medical attention to those who may need it more. Some of the other benefits of observation periods are:

  • Reduced admissions. According to the-hospitalist.org, the admission rate of OBS patients is 13.3%. Observation care enables hospitals to become more efficient in providing immediate care for the patients who require emergency care. It increases hospital bed capacity, reduces wait time, and helps save lives.
  • Infection control. Observation improves infection control practices in hospitals. Isolating patients with potentially contagious infections reduces the risk of them spreading.
  • Patient safety. Observation patients receive a large amount of care before admittance into the hospital, reducing the risk of critical information being lost between two facilities. Observation care allows doctors to make a more accurate diagnosis since they have more time to make important decisions. Patients sent into the hospital truly need to be there, and the patients who aren’t as ill will be discharged from observation care after treatment.

23 Hour Observation at The Emergency Center

If you have symptoms that appear to be an emergency, do not hesitate and come to The Emergency Center right away.  The Emergency Center is provides up to 23 hours of Observation and offers 24/7 care with NO WAITING. We admit patients directly into the hospital, bypassing the hospital’s ER to save the patient valuable time. Visit The Emergency Center’s convenient 24-hour location in San Antonio.


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The Emergency Center

San Antonio
11320 Alamo Ranch Pkwy
San Antonio, TX 78253

Phone: 210-485-3644