Emergency care is the treatment of emergent medical conditions. It is generally performed in an emergency room, but can also refer to treatment in an ambulance. In addition to life-threatening conditions, emergency medicine physicians may treat patients with injuries or infections.
Emergency department in Northern Virginia
Our priority is quick, compassionate emergency care.
At Reston Hospital Center's emergency room (ER), we treat both adults and children. We offer specialty services for trauma, intensive and progressive care situations as well as advanced care for less severe conditions.
ER symptom checker
Unsure about whether you should go to the ER? You may need to visit us if you have:
- Extreme influenza (flu)
- Head injury
- Severe stomach pain
- Side pain
- Trouble breathing
Our hospital emergency services
Our comprehensive emergency care department offers responsive trauma medicine, child-friendly services and multiple levels of critical care. We are also proud to be a Certified Primary Stroke Center and an Accredited Chest Pain Center.
In addition to emergency care, our ER offers a FastTrack ER for less serious illnesses or injuries that need treatment within 24 hours.
We offer a Level II Trauma Center if you are experiencing traumatic injuries or illnesses. We are able to provide lifesaving care in these cases, with experts trained in the unique field of trauma medicine. They will work together with emergency and critical care teams to ensure you get treated quickly and effectively.
Progressive and intensive care
Should you need ongoing care after visiting our ER, we have multiple levels of critical care that go beyond typical inpatient support, including:
- Advanced technology — We are proud to offer advanced technologies and equipment, which enable you to have shorter hospital stays and better outcomes.
- Concentrated care — Intensive care doctors (intensivists) and nurses are specially trained to care for you if you have a life-threatening illness or injury.
- Progressive mobility program — When you receive intensive care, you are often immobilized. Our team takes gradual steps to reintroduce activity and restore mobility, with the goal of returning you to your normal functioning.
- Thorough transitional care program — We coordinate your care with your primary care provider and other specialists to decrease your chances of being readmitted to the hospital.
Progressive care unit (PCU)
Our PCU is known as a "step-down unit." You would transfer to the PCU when you require more medical attention than is available in other units, but less than what is required in intensive care. Our PCU allows you to heal and transition between levels of care with ease.
Visiting the PCU
The PCU has open visitation hours, with quiet times varying by the patient's needs and the care team's resources. Other PCU visiting rules include:
- No more than two visitors are permitted in the PCU.
- Flowers, balloons, cards and photographs are welcome in the PCU.
- Food and drink are allowed in the PCU.
Intensive care unit (ICU)
The specialists in the ICU — also known as a critical care unit (CCU) — treat you when your health needs are most serious. Typically if you are being cared for in the ICU, you need close monitoring and advanced medical services.
You may be admitted to the ICU for:
- Brain injuries, such as bleeding, trauma, stroke, tumors or comas
- Cardiac problems, such as very low or very high blood pressure, abnormal heartbeat or heart attack
- Pulmonary and respiratory problems, such as asthma attack, severe pneumonia or pulmonary embolism
- Recovery or ongoing care after surgery, infection, trauma or illness
Visiting the ICU
Our visitation guidelines were made with your needs in mind. We understand that visiting a loved one in the hospital is important for you and your family. We do whatever we can to enable visitation without compromising you or your loved one's medical needs.
Our ICU visitation rules include:
- ICU visitors are limited to two per bedside.
- Do not bring live flowers, plants or animals into the ICU.
- Do not eat or drink in the ICU rooms. There is a dedicated family waiting room where families can eat.
- Visitors 14 years old or younger are not permitted in the ICU.
- The ICU does not allow guests to stay in the room overnight.
- Visitors may be asked to step out of the ICU and into the waiting areas while we perform procedures or respond to a crisis situation.
The daily visitation schedules in the ICU are as follows:
- ICU visiting hours — 8:00am to 9:00pm.
- Exception — No visitors from 6:30pm to 8:00pm during shift change.
- ICU quiet hours — 9:00pm to 8:00 am.
Our ER wait times
Check the top of our website or text "ER" to 32222 to find out the wait times of the HCA Virginia Health System ER closest to you.
Note: Message and data rates apply. ER wait times are approximate and provided for informational purposes only.
Visiting the ICU and PCU
An important part of intensive care treatment is allowing time to rest in a quiet environment to promote healing.
General critical care visiting guidelines
We understand the important role family plays in supporting you during your time with us. Our visitor guidelines are designed with this in mind.
These guidelines include:
- Generally, visitors cannot stay overnight in your loved one's room. We can provide suggestions for nearby hotels.
- If you might be ill, reschedule your visit. Consider the risk to critical care patients and the need for your visit if you have a fever or symptoms of an infectious illness, such as a cold or flu.
- Switch between visitors and exchange information in the waiting areas, not at the bedside or in doorways.
- For safety reasons, please keep toddlers and infants at home and provide constant, direct supervision to older children.
- Limit cell phone use and keep conversations to a quiet tone. Set phone ringers on low volume or vibrate.
- Nurses may limit visits to help your loved one rest and heal.
- Rest and take care of yourself so you are in the best possible health to help your loved one's recovery.
- Use hand sanitizer from the stations on the wall near the door of each room when entering and leaving.
- Use the waiting area when not visiting in your loved one's room to help limit traffic and comply with fire and safety regulations and patient confidentiality rules.
Designate a primary contact person
Please designate one of your loved one's family members as the primary contact person to receive updates on their condition from the nursing staff. The primary contact person will receive a privacy code that they will need to provide, along with your loved one's name when calling for updates. Our nurses will also contact this person if there is any change in your loved one's condition.
What is a Trauma Center?
Dr. Ranjit Pullarkat explains what it means to be a provisional Level II Trauma Center in Northern Virginia.
Emergency room: Know when to go
Knowing when to go to the emergency room isn't always cut and dry. At Reston Hospital Center, we're here to help no matter what your emergency.
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