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Satellite Emergency Department

Community Access to Basic Emergency Care

JFK Health remains committed to serving the health care needs of area residents. The Satellite Emergency Department (SED) on the JFK-Muhlenberg Campus combines high-quality, basic emergency care with the same trusted, experienced and professional board-certified physicians, specialty trained nurses and other healthcare professionals.

To help you better understand the type of services you can expect from the Satellite Emergency Department, we wanted to provide you with answers to some frequently asked questions.

What is a Satellite Emergency Department?

A satellite emergency department is distinct from an inpatient, traditional hospital. With the exception of trauma, it has the same capabilities as conventional Emergency Departments, 24 hours per day, seven days per week – with all the necessary personnel and emergency equipment. By state regulations, a satellite emergency department must be part of a system with a nearby acute-care hospital such as JFK Medical Center.

What are the hours of operation?

As with conventional emergency departments, the SED operates 24 hours per day, seven days per week.

What services are provided at the JFK-Muhlenberg Campus Satellite Emergency Department?

As with a conventional hospital emergency room, the SED will treat patients with health problems that require immediate, specialized attention. Specifically, it will offer primary care for adult and pediatric patients with low severity conditions (who may also require basic life support) such as:

  • General medical conditions: colds, flu, sore throats, ear aches, sinus infections
  • Mild asthma exacerbations
  • Minor burns
  • Sprains/broken bones
  • Fevers/rashes
  • Lacerations/stitches
  • Upper respiratory conditions
  • Urinary tract infection
  • Mild allergic reactions
  • Minor musculoskeletal and head injuries
  • Wound care
  • Minor motor vehicle/work injuries

Additionally, it provides diagnostic services such as imaging and lab services and a link to JFK Medical Center for patients who require transfers as needed.

What will happen if the SED determines that hospitalization is required?

The staff at the SED will stabilize patients to the best of their ability who require transfer to an acute care hospital, and a specialty care transport vehicle will be available to transfer patients.

Ambulances generally won't bring the most critically ill patients to the SED, including trauma patients and those having strokes, heart attacks or are more than twenty weeks pregnant. Ambulance squads will go straight to a full-service hospital with any patient who requires hospital admission.

When is it appropriate to go directly to a full-service acute care hospital?

New Jersey state regulations stipulate that patients who require advanced life support, critical care, surgery, advanced radiological and laboratory testing, are in labor, or suffer from medically complex conditions should be cared for at the closest acute care hospitals, and not a SED. Such types of patients are:

  • Patients treated by advanced life support personnel or a mobile intensive care unit and require life support care.
  • Patients with psychiatric illness, in crisis, under the influence of alcohol or other substances, or demonstrating altered mental status.
  • Women more than 20 weeks pregnant with medical problems related to the pregnancy.

 JFK Health looks forward to treating you and your family with high quality patient care.