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Buffalo Hospital

Emergency Department

Buffalo Hospital's emergency care saves lives
Tom Burling thought he had heart burn. But when it proved to be a heart attack, he was fortunate to be within minutes of an emergency department. Watch his story of survival or read the transcript of this nearly eight minute video.

Allina Health Telehealth Network

Stroke patients at Buffalo Hospital have 24-hour access to stroke care experts at Abbott Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis.

When you are hurt or don't feel well, you want quick attention. At Buffalo Hospital, we have the shortest wait times in all of the Twin Cities.

Our specially trained team of emergency doctors and nurses are ready to care for you with the most advanced lifesaving equipment and technology available.

Our doctors, part of SEA (Suburban Emergency Associates, PA) have a proven record for consistent, impressive improvements in patient outcomes, wait times and patient satisfaction. We also have a wide-range of specialists on call for emergency treatment, including orthopedics, cardiac care, neurological and several others.

Time is critical

In an emergency, every moment is critical and it's important to get to the closest emergency department. If a higher level of care is needed than what is available at Buffalo Hospital – for instance, patients suffering from a stroke require care from a neurologist – Buffalo Hospital's emergency team immediately begins tests and treatments, stabilize you and arrange transportation by ambulance or helicopter if needed for your condition.

Buffalo Hospital has earned a reputation for quick, expert care and you can feel safe in choosing us.

If you need a prescription before going home, InstyMeds, an automated system that dispenses prescriptions, is available in our lobby.

As a non-profit hospital, we treat all patients, regardless of their ability to pay.

Recognizing medical emergencies

The American College of Emergency Physicians offers these warning signs that may indicate a medical emergency and signal you need to go to closest emergency department.

If you have a medical emergency, please call 911.

Guide for the Care of Children: Ages Birth to 5

This guide can help answer your questions about emergencies, safety precautions and other issues parents usually face.

What to expect at the Emergency Department

Buffalo Hospital Emergency Department staff Darren Huber, MD, Registered Nurse Margo Binsfield and Jeffrey Hill, MD.

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It's helpful to understand what takes place when visiting the Emergency Department. We are committed to providing excellent, timely care. Our first priority is to save lies, so the most severely injured or ill patients are seen first.

  • ED arrival
    Upon arrival, patients first check in at the registration desk, and are brought immediately back to a triage room. A registered nurse will assess your vital signs, medical concerns and history to ensure patients with the most urgent needs are seen first.
  • Registration
    Registration is typically completed at your bedside. It is helpful to bring a list of current medications, list of allergies and insurance. If your insurance requires a co-payment, you will need to make a payment before you go home.
  • Diagnosis and treatment
    Patients are seen in private exam rooms by a board-certified emergency doctor. If you require imaging services such as an X-ray, MRI or CT scan, those services are just down the hall. When all tests results are reviewed, your doctor will decide whether you will be discharged or admitted to the hospital.
  • Going home
    Once your doctor determines you can go home, you are provided with complete discharge instructions. If you need a prescription, InstyMeds, an automated system that dispenses prescriptions, is available in our lobby.

Your care team

During your visit, your care team may include an emergency doctor, a registered nurse, medical or radiology technician and a laboratory technician.


In most cases, one visitor at a time is allowed at your bedside. This will allow your medical needs to be met and privacy maintained.

Relatives and friends are asked to remain in the Emergency lobby area unless their presence is absolutely necessary for your care. Staff will keep friends and family informed about your care and treatment as much as possible.

Why are some people seen sooner than others?

We are committed to providing you with excellent patient care, no matter what your illness or injury. Because our first priority is to save lives, the most severely injured or ill patients will be seen first. If you are asked to wait but begin to feel worse, please tell the nurse right away.

Why can't I eat or drink while I'm waiting?

You might be asked to refrain from eating or drinking because your physical condition may require testing or surgery. After the doctor evaluates you, please check with the doctor or your nurse about eating or drinking.

How long does treatment take?

Treatment time depends on each individuals health condition. Buffalo Hospital's average time from arrival to see a doctor is about 30 minutes, and typically, patients are on their way home within two hours from arrival.

If you have a complicated health problem, you may be in the Emergency department for many hours. Your health problem may require numerous tests and your doctor may need to consult with specialists.

If your illness or injury is life-threatening, it may take several hours to stabilize you condition. You may be transferred to another Allina Health hospital or need to be admitted to Buffalo Hospital for ongoing care.

Why did I have to wait when the staff did not look busy?

Staff and doctors are waiting for diagnostic test results and often can't proceed with other treatment or diagnosis until the test results are available.

How can I get my medical records if I need them?

You can pick up copies of you medical records from Health Information Management services (Medical Records) at Buffalo Hospital. Please call 763-684-7818, in advance, so your records can be prepared for you. You will need to sign a release of information form before receiving the records.

You can also access and download portions of your health records through MyChart.

Why can't you tell me what this will cost?

Unless a diagnosis is performed, we cannot tell you exactly what the estimated cost will be. After the doctor evaluation occurs, he or she dictates a report describing your care. Once the report is transcribed, charges are electronically posted to your account. The charges can be obtained in about two to three days after your visit. Be advised that along with the hospital bill, you may also receive bills from the Emergency department physician group, radiologist and pathologists (lab).

Who can help me if I have a concern or would like to comment about my care in the Emergency department?

We welcome your questions and concerns - they help us improve our care. If you do not feel comfortable talking with the staff who treat you, you can speak with the Service Excellence coordinator, charge nurse, Emergency department manager or director.

Why can't I get any medical advice over the phone when I call?

Unlike your primary doctor, the Emergency department staff is not familiar with your medical history, general health, or health care concerns; therefore we cannot provide accurate information related to treatment or diagnosis over the phone. We will always be glad to see you in person in the Emergency department.

Community Health Topic-Stroke

Did you know signs and symptoms of stroke may last a short time and disappear? A stroke is a medical emergency, so don’t delay in getting help.

Learn more about recognizing, diagnosing and treating a stroke from Christine Delmonico, MD, Emergency Department, Buffalo Hospital, in the Community Health Topic public service announcements.

Thank you to SWTV 19 Community Television and the City of Buffalo for their partnership.

Community health topic - Stroke Part 1

Recognizing stroke - signs and symptoms
Resource: SWTV Community Television
Created date: April 24, 2013

Community health topic - Stroke Part 2

Delay in treatment for stroke
Resource: SWTV Community Television
Created date: April 24, 2013

Community health topic - Stroke Part 3

Different types of stroke
Resource: SWTV Community Television
Created date: April 24, 2013

Community health topic - Stroke Part 4

Risk factors for strokes
Resource: SWTV Community Television
Created date: April 24, 2013