LEXINGTON, S.C. — Lexington Medical Center is reminding people when and when not to use the Emergency Room through billboards.
At Lexington Medical Center Urgent Care at Saluda Pointe, Dr. Evan Dingle says he sees confused patients frequently.
"Some of the things we see at urgent Care are common colds, ankle sprains, sore throats, and ear aches," Dingle explained. "On the other hand, the ER is the right place for you if you are having slurred speech, stroke-like symptoms, weakness in an arm or leg, or if you're having chest pain."
Dingle says he hopes the billboards help people determine where to go to help keep emergency room crowds down.
"Certainly the ERs are seeing really high volumes right now, and there are a lot of issues that we could be seeing in Urgent Care to deal with them," Dingle said.
The issue is so widespread, that Lexington County Emergency Services put out this message on Instagram saying "Ambulances don't grow on trees".
Tanee Thomas-Tedford and Mark Goudelock have worked with Lexington EMS for more than a decade, and they said they notice that people do not always call for an emergency.
Goudelock explains that if you have to call, make sure it is not for something a regular doctor could take care of.
"If half of your day is spent on those types of calls you do feel like you're not doing your job, and you're not doing what you're supposed to be doing," he stated.
Lexington Medical says there are about a dozen billboards around the Midlands, and Lexington EMS says they plan to continue posting social media reminders for people about when to use emergency services.