Short Gut Syndrome Patient, Family & Professional Support Groups

Q: How do I get help outside business hours without going to the E.R.?

Many of the medical advice questions asked in our Facebook group come from patients and families dealing with short bowel syndrome-related problems when their doctor's office, home health agency, infusion pharmacy, or other specialist office is closed.

However, there are also risks of delayed care and misinformation that come with seeking advice online.

Some issues are emergencies that should always be treated in the emergency room. However, other problems are less straightforward, and it is helpful for patients to know how to reach qualified advice, even after hours.

There are ways that you can reach a qualified short bowel syndrome clinician outside office hours. Most hospitals have on-call doctors that are available 24/7. You can reach them by calling the hospital main line and asking to speak to the doctor on-call for the given specialty, gastroenterology, for example. The hospital operator will take your contact information and have a doctor call you back.

Many infusion pharmacies, physicians, and home health companies also have 24/7 emergency answering services. There may be information about how to reach this service in the office message when you call after hours. It may also be included in the paperwork provided to you at intake.

You can prepare by talking to your doctor to make an after-hours contact plan.

Other families are always happy to support you, but when it comes to medical questions, it's key to know how to reach an experienced clinician when you need one.







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