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.

This website is created by families for families. This site does not provide medical or any other health advice, diagnosis, and/or treatment. This site and its services, including the information above, are for informational purposes only and are not a supstitute for professional medical or health advice, examination, diagnosis, and treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other health care provider before starting any new treatment, making any changes to existing treatment, or altering in any way your or your child's current care or diet regimen. Do not delay seeking or disregard medical advice based on the information on this site. Some of the information on this site may be incorrect or out of date. No health information on this site is regulated or evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and therefore the information should not be used to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease without the supervision of a medical professional.