No one can predict an emergency. However, when trauma or illness demands urgent medical attention, you do not need to worry—or guess—about where to seek help. McDowell Hospital is centrally located for quick access. Its Emergency Department is fully-equipped to meet your needs, and emergency medicine physicians are on-site 24/7.
McDowell Hospital’s Emergency Department brings top-notch emergency care to the community. In addition to our experienced staff, a team of physicians from Mission Hospital—all board certified emergency medicine specialists—participate in a rotating schedule at McDowell Hospital to cover your emergency needs any time of the day or night.
If you need emergency treatment, please call 911.
If you suspect a heart attack or stroke, don’t hesitate…call 911. EMS providers begin immediate, life-saving treatment and you shouldn’t drive because your condition may worsen. Calling 911 also establishes communication between EMS and the Emergency Department so we will be prepared for your arrival.
The Emergency Department at McDowell Hospital is always open and ready to mobilize. Our triage nurses immediately assess your condition to determine the severity of your illness or injury. Multiple team members work together to stabilize your condition and initiate treatment. Our skilled physicians manage emergencies with confidence based on their experience and backed by McDowell Hospital’s resources:
- 10 treatment rooms equipped with cardiac monitors
- In-house laboratory
- Advanced imaging technology
- Dedicated Surgery Department and staff
- Respiratory therapy
McDowell’s team swiftly transfers patients needing more advanced care to Mission Hospital, or another higher level facility, using EMS or the Mountain Area Medical Airlift. Our affiliation with Mission Hospital ensures a coordinated and rapid transition to Mission’s Level II Trauma Center .
- Mountain Area Medical Airlift (MAMA) : Helicopters stand ready in Asheville around the clock to provide critical care transport. Specially trained nurses, paramedics and respiratory therapists give in-flight care under the medical direction of Mission Hospital.
Your Time in the Emergency Department
We understand that it’s difficult to wait when you’re in the Emergency Department. We ask for your patience because we never know when—or how many—people might need emergency medical attention. This may impact your wait time because the most severe conditions must be treated first. Please be aware that:
- People with the most serious emergencies will be treated first
- Treatment time may take many hours, depending on your condition
- Additional tests may be critical and these take extra time
If your condition gets worse while you’re waiting, let the nurses know right away.
Heart Attacks and Strokes
We stabilize patients diagnosed with a heart attack and transfer them to the nationally recognized and accredited Chest Pain Center at Mission Hospital when appropriate. We maintain a close collaboration with Mission’s Cardiac Catheterization Department, so it is immediately alerted and prepared to continue your treatment when you arrive at Mission.
All nurses in the Emergency Department are trained to assess strokes by the National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale Program. McDowell Hospital follows a stroke protocol that allows the emergency team to effectively identify stroke patients and implement essential medical treatment when appropriate.
Learn the Signs of Heart Attacks and Strokes
Every minute matters. Rapid treatment of a heart attack or stroke may mean the difference between full recovery versus disability or death. Learn the signs…never wait…call 911 immediately if you suspect a heart attack or stroke.
Signs of a Heart Attack
The signs of a heart attack may occur quickly and be extremely painful, but they may also be vague, come-and-go, or start slowly and develop over days or weeks:
- Chest pain or discomfort – mild or strong; feels like pressure, fullness or pain
- Pain or discomfort in one or both arms, back, neck, jaw or stomach
- Shortness of breath – feels like you can’t get enough air
- Nausea and/or vomiting
- Dizziness or feeling faint
- Breaking out in a cold sweat
Women may have the same symptoms but they’re more likely than men to have shortness of breath, nausea or vomiting and pain in the back, neck or jaw. Women may also experience:
- Extreme tiredness or fatigue
- Loss of appetite
- Heart flutters
Signs of a Stroke
Treatment administered within the first three hours significantly increases the chance of recovering from a stroke with little or no disability. Some people may not realize they’re having a stroke, so they need you to recognize their symptoms. Think FAST:
- Face – facial droop or weakness (example: uneven smile)
- Arms – numbness or weakness on one side of the body
- Speech – slurred speech, trouble speaking or understanding
- Time – call 9-1-1 immediately. If you’ve gone 3 hours without medical treatment after a stroke, doctors may be limited in how your stroke may be treated
The medical professionals in McDowell Hospital’s Emergency Department remain on high alert. Ready at a moments notice to treat children and adults with any type of illness, trauma or medical condition, our team relies on extensive experience, training and team work. As a result you receive quick, quality care provided with compassion. Our team members include:
Registered nurses—all trained in:
- Advanced cardiac life support (ACLS)
- Pediatric life support (PALS)
- Acute stroke assessment
- Board certified emergency medicine physicians
Appointments and Information
Appointments are not necessary. If you have an emergency, call 911, or have someone bring you to the emergency room as fast as possible.
If you do not have an emergency, but have questions about our emergency services, use our online form , or call 828-659-5000.
Safe Haven: Under North Carolina law, the McDowell Hospital is a designated safe haven. This means that any baby up to 7 days old may be left with an employee at the hospital. No questions will be asked and you will not face prosecution for abandonment, as long as the baby is not harmed or abused. To find out more about Safe Haven, go to http://www.nationalsafehavenalliance.org/states/northcarolina/ .
Location and Hours
McDowell Hospital Emergency Department
430 Rankin Dr.
Marion, NC 28752