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Department of Pediatrics : Academic Divisions : Emergency Medicine : Resident Manual : Administrative Issues : Telephone Advice

There are several situations in which parents or patients may call the ED for medical advice. Depending on the circumstances, we may or may not be able to give advice over the phone.

  1. If the patient is followed at pediatric primary care, CMH faculty practice, or nurse midwifery, they should be instructed to call 792-3955. If it is after hours, the call will be referred to the operator to page the resident who is taking primary care calls. The resident's attending backup for these calls is the general pediatrics attending that is on service.
  2. If the patient has been seen in our emergency department within the past 7 days, and the call is regarding the same injury or illness, then either a nurse or physician may talk to the parent or patient regarding that specific problem. The patient chart may be pulled to provide more information. Document the phone call on a progress note with the patient's medical record number and send it to medical records.
  3. If the call is regarding an ingestion and it is between 8am and midnight, the parent may call Palmetto Poison Control at (800) 922-1117. Charlotte Poison Control is staffed 24 hours a day. Their number is (800) 848-6946. The national poison control number is (800) 222-1222.
  4. If the family does not have a local pediatrician, then they should be instructed that we are unable to give medical advice over the phone, but they may bring the child in to be seen if they are concerned. They should call 911 if it is a life-threatening emergency.
  5. If caregivers have any concerns, we are always open and available to evaluate their child.


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