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Think about it
When's the best time to visit an ER with the shortest wait time?
I don't have insurance and am 90% sure I have the swine flu. My symptoms are getting worse and it's day 7. As much as I hate to go to the ER because I can't afford it, I think I have to at this point, was wondering what time of day is best to go with fewest people so I don't give my flu to others in the waiting room since it is very contagious. I'm in Los Angeles if that makes a difference.

i am sure it varies from state to state, but the slowest days for our ER is usually Monday - Thursday afternoons

weekends and evenings are the worst

Mike G
1) There is no way, aside from a lab test, to be even close to sure you have the swine flu. What makes you so certain?

2) Yes you should wear a mask. Dont be embarrassed. Besides.. when you have the mask on, no one can tell who you are.

3) Los Angeles is blessed with MANY, MANY ERs... which were you trying to go to? Each is different. What they all have in common... is an extreme level of variability in their staffing and patient saturation. Their wait times vary.

Also on that note... Patients are seen by severity of illness/injury. You should also be aware that patients who come in by ambulance, are not necessarily seen first. I've personally brought people in by ambulance, and walked them into the waiting room, multiple times. (Even a GSW once).

The only time I have universally seen waiting rooms and ERs near-empty... Superbowl Sunday, before the game is over.

Your best bet is to either go to a clinic, a county clinic, or eat the cost of going to an urgent care, and just wait it out.

There's no telling - I used to work in an E.R. and sometimes it would be quiet and slow, and then, BAM, the floodgates would open everyone would come in. I would call the E.R. first and ask them if they want you to wear a mask, but mask or not, you need to be seen if you suspect swine flu. Again, call the E.R. closest to you, (call the main hospital number and when the operator answers the phone at the hospital, tell her you need to speak with a nurse in the E.R., then let them know what you think is going on and ask them the best way for you to come in (mask, no mask, etc..) E.R.'s cannot refuse to see you because you have no insurance, and most hospitals do have programs to assist you with the bill, although you will still receive some from the E.R. docs, the lab, etc. (I know this bec. I don't have insurance either and had to go last weekend for an injury). What I have learned is that even when you have a bill that the doctor won't write off, you can call them and work a payment plan out. Tell them, if they demand a certain amt. at the time you call to get a payment plan, that you cannot afford that amount, tell them what you can afford and go from there. I had one company "demand" $50 a month, and I'm on disability and can't afford that and I told them that, and they didn't like it, but they're taking $30 a month and I do call and stay in contact with them. As long as you keep communication open (you are going to be late w/ a payment, etc, ) most places will work with you. I hope you get to feeling better.

the best time is NOW...go to the ER right now!!! GOOO!!!!!

can't really give a time frame on when the ER will / won't be busy. it's sporadic. sometimes they'll take you in based on level of seriousness. just go & tell them you think you might have swine flu before they triage you.

If you are too embarassed to wear a mask to protect other people from getting your disease, please stay home and continue taking medication. Otherwise, you are just a walking "Typhoid Mary"

Please don't go to the ER. This is not an emergency. Instead, go to a county walk-in clinic that is there for people who do not have insurance. If nothing else, go to a regular doctor and cough (no pun intended) up the $500 it costs to see him/her. People without insurance going to the ER for things like this is part of the big reason the health care system is so screwed up right now.

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