The Golden Hour

When to go to the ER for RSV

When to go to the ER for RSV

By Dr. Katie E. Golden, MD Another season. Another virus. It seems these respiratory bugs keep coming up with new material to stay in the spotlight. COVID continues to dominate the scene with its ever changing variants. But the flu has come fast out of the gate this...

How to Help An Aging Adult Stay Healthy at Home

How to Help An Aging Adult Stay Healthy at Home

By Dr. Katie E. Golden, MD Many aging adults and their families reach a point when they need to consider extra support. And this can be fraught with challenges. Older adults understandably don’t want to lose their independence, or a life and home that feels familiar...

What You Need to Know About Monkeypox

What You Need to Know About Monkeypox

The 2022 monkeypox outbreak has reached North Carolina and Mecklenburg county. While the risk to the general public remains low, we want you to make sure you have all the information you need as the outbreak evolves. But most importantly, know that you don’t need to worry. We’ve got you — pox or not. 

When should I go to the ER for abdominal pain?

When should I go to the ER for abdominal pain?

By Dr. Katie E. Golden, MD Abdominal pain is a very common symptom. And most of us have the same (gut) instinct when it happens: to wait it out, and see how we feel a little later. ‘Did I eat something bad? Do I just need to poop? Maybe it will pass.’ But when your...

Common Misconceptions about Heartburn and Acid Reflux

Common Misconceptions about Heartburn and Acid Reflux

By Dr. Katie E. Golden, MD Many people come to the emergency department (ED) with symptoms of chest pain thinking ‘is this just heartburn, or is it something more serious?’ Thankfully, most people will also leave with a reassuring workup and no major problems. And for...

‘Tis the Season for Heart Attacks

‘Tis the Season for Heart Attacks

By Dr. Katie E. Golden, MD The holiday season is always full of traditions that are special to this time of year: festive gatherings, cherished recipes, gift-giving. And don’t forget that yearly spike in . . . heart attacks. For years, experts have noticed that there...

What does it mean to go ‘against medical advice?

What does it mean to go ‘against medical advice?

By Dr. Katie E. Golden, MD More than ever, people are participating in the decisions surrounding their medical care. And in turn, many doctors are making an effort to educate their patients about the risks and benefits of their treatment options. This way the patient...

Outpatient Treatment Options for COVID-19

Outpatient Treatment Options for COVID-19

By Katie E. Golden, MD We are amidst another surge in COVID cases, and it feels like there are new variants and scientific studies debuting every day. The treatment options are no exception. While we know a lot more about the coronavirus than we did a year ago, the...

Why is my CBC Abnormal? Breaking Down the Blood Count

Why is my CBC Abnormal? Breaking Down the Blood Count

By Katie E. Golden, MD A complete blood count (CBC) is a common laboratory test to include as part of a basic medical evaluation. If you have recently been to the emergency department (ED), there is a good chance your blood counts were tested. And if you looked at...

The EKG: Translating the Interpreter

The EKG: Translating the Interpreter

By Katie E. Golden, MD An electrocardiogram (abbreviated as both ECG and EKG) is a simple test that is frequently performed on patients in the emergency room. It is easy, fast, and gives us a lot of important information about your heart. It helps doctors immediately...

Are My Kidneys Okay?

Are My Kidneys Okay?

By Katie E. Golden, MD In the emergency department (ED), it is common to obtain blood tests as part of a patient’s evaluation. A routine part of this analysis is to check kidney function, and we do this by testing for levels of ‘creatinine’  (abbreviated as Cr). It is...

Let’s Get Down to Cannabis-ness

Let’s Get Down to Cannabis-ness

By Katie E. Golden, MD While marijuana is stuck behind a legislative roadblock in North Carolina, CBD products are quickly finding their way into grocery stores, mainstream shops, and bars across the state. CBD in your coffee, CBD in your cocktail, mixed into a muscle...

A Short Introduction to Long COVID

A Short Introduction to Long COVID

by Katie E. Golden, MD As we round out month 16 of the COVID pandemic in the US (yes, I am counting our months of survival the same way I would the age of my first child), we are starting to learn more about the long term outcomes of the virus. This includes patients...

Cracking the Code: Explaining End-of-Life Decisions

Cracking the Code: Explaining End-of-Life Decisions

By Katie E. Golden, MD As emergency physicians, we often help patients and their families make important decisions about their end-of-life care when faced with a life-threatening illness. The emergency department is never the ideal environment to introduce such...

A Pernicious Weed Indeed: Explaining Cannabis Hyperemesis Syndrome

A Pernicious Weed Indeed: Explaining Cannabis Hyperemesis Syndrome

By: Katie E. Golden, MD  It’s an easily recognizable condition in the ER. The medics come through the ambulance doors with a young patient on the stretcher, doubled over, clutching their stomach with one hand, and holding a vomit bag with the other. While there are...

The Facts and FAQs of the COVID Vaccine

The Facts and FAQs of the COVID Vaccine

By Katie E. Golden, MD The recent approval and early distribution of the COVID vaccine certainly feel like some of the most uplifting news we have had all year and outshines even the most impressively decorated Charlotte homes this holiday season. (And I’m sure you...

Eat, Drink, and Be Wary: How to Stay Safe this Holiday Season

Eat, Drink, and Be Wary: How to Stay Safe this Holiday Season

By: Katie E. Golden, MD  If you’re reading this, you have so far survived a worldwide pandemic, raging forest fires and non-stop hurricanes, endless zoom calls, the death of Alex Trebek, and the painful viewing of the first presidential debate. I don’t know about you,...

Tendons Be Trendin’

Tendons Be Trendin’

By Katie E. Golden, MD Social distancing and quarantining have translated to considerable lifestyle changes for most of us, and along with all the other challenges presented by the pandemic, we have seen an increase in patients presenting with muscle and joint pain....

Evaluation and Treatment after a Motor Vehicle Collision

Evaluation and Treatment after a Motor Vehicle Collision

By Katie E. Golden, MD Patients frequently come to the ER for evaluation after car accidents, or motor vehicle collisions (MVCs) as we refer to them in the medical field. While most MVCs do not lead to serious bodily injury, they often lead to a significant amount of...

MDs, DOs, PAs, and NPs: The Alphabet Soup of Medical Degrees

MDs, DOs, PAs, and NPs: The Alphabet Soup of Medical Degrees

By Katie E. Golden, MD Any patient who comes to the ER is going to meet a steady stream of new people throughout the course of their stay. Before a patient even gets into a room, they are greeted and evaluated by triage nurses and registration staff, and it only gets...

When should I go to the ER for Chest Pain?

When should I go to the ER for Chest Pain?

By Katie Golden, MD July 21, 2020 Unexplained symptoms and sensations in the body, especially when they are felt in the chest, can be an unsettling source of stress and discomfort. It can be difficult for doctors and patients alike to understand the source of chest...

Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever: Let’s Talk Ticks and Bacteria

Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever: Let’s Talk Ticks and Bacteria

By Katie E. Golden, MD May 25, 2020   With everyone’s heads turned towards the coronavirus, it can be easy to overlook the other sources of fever and infection that we have to consider. It’s that time of year, with warmer temperatures when Rocky Mountain Spotted...

The Answer Key to COVID Testing

The Answer Key to COVID Testing

The Answer Key to COVID Testing By Katie E. Golden, MD May 14, 2020 The success of reopening our state relies partly on increased testing, helping us to understand who has the infection, who is at risk, and how we can keep everyone safe. There has been a rapid...

A Look Inside The ER During COVID

A Look Inside The ER During COVID

  By Katie E. Golden, MD April 15, 2020 The last month has been difficult for us all, and everyone has experienced the life-changing challenges of this pandemic in their own way.  It is even harder when we can’t see exactly how this virus is affecting the members...

What You Need to Know about the Novel Coronavirus

What You Need to Know about the Novel Coronavirus

What You Need to Know about the Novel Coronavirus  By Katie E. Golden, MD We have all been inundated with updates about the daily spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), and it can be hard to keep up with the flood of information from media, government officials,...

Let’s Talk About Sex . . . ually transmitted diseases

Let’s Talk About Sex . . . ually transmitted diseases

Let’s Talk About Sex . . . ually transmitted diseases By Katie E. Golden, MD Patients often come to the Emergency Department (ED) for concerns regarding exposures or symptoms of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). These infections are incredibly common. In 2017...

The Pits and Pearls of Prescription Pain Medication

The Pits and Pearls of Prescription Pain Medication

The Pits and Pearls of Prescription Pain Medication By Katie E. Golden, MD Most Americans are aware of the opioid crisis that has become a high priority public health concern. Over the last two decades, the alarming increase in fatal overdoses across the country has...

Atrial Fibrillation: Hearts Aflutter for the Holidays

Atrial Fibrillation: Hearts Aflutter for the Holidays

Hearts Aflutter for the Holidays By Katie E. Golden, MD The holiday season is upon us, and for many us, that translates to a steady stream of family gatherings, fun celebrations, and naturally some over-indulgence. This comes with coinciding seasonal trends that we...

My Child Has a Fever: What Do I Do?

My Child Has a Fever: What Do I Do?

By Katie E. Golden, MD Parents often bring their children into the Emergency Department (ED) for evaluation of fever, which is a common occurrence in babies, infants, and toddlers. Their young immune systems are still learning how to build a defense system against all...

Explaining Unexplained Abdominal Pain

Explaining Unexplained Abdominal Pain

Explaining Unexplained Abdominal Pain by Katie E. Golden, MD Abdominal pain is a common symptom that brings patients to the emergency department (ED) for evaluation. It is also common that our ED workup does not find an identifiable cause, and patients are discharged...

The Gallstone Groans

The Gallstone Groans

  By Katie E. Golden, MD   Gallstones are a common condition we diagnose in the emergency department (ED), and can sometimes lead to repeated visits for recurrent episodes. If you have been diagnosed with gallstones, here are some important things to...

When am I going to see the doctor?

When am I going to see the doctor?

By Katie E. Golden When you consider the average timeline of a patient’s emergency department (ED) visit, a relatively small amount of that experience is spent with a doctor at the bedside. This can naturally leave a patient wondering if they got anything out of their...

Dying for Antibiotics

Dying for Antibiotics

By Katie E. Golden, MD   It’s almost fall, which promises the glorious return of cooler temperatures, football season, and children in school. This also means the return of cold and flu season, and there is nothing like a sore throat and stuffy nose to spoil the...

Relaxing Under the Pressure: High Blood Pressure in the ER

Relaxing Under the Pressure: High Blood Pressure in the ER

By Katie E. Golden, MD What do those numbers even mean? Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is one of the most common diseases in the United States. Many doctors counsel their patients on the need for good blood pressure control without explaining the fundamentals...

How to Care for Your Laceration

How to Care for Your Laceration

By Katie E. Golden, MD A ‘laceration’ is our fancy medical term for a cut or tear in the skin, and a good reason for a patient to come to the emergency department (ED). Prompt wound care is important to prevent infection and promote healthy healing, and so we wanted...

What a pain in the . . . back side

What a pain in the . . . back side

By Katie E. Golden, MD Year after year, back pain easily maintains a top spot as one of the most common reasons for an emergency department (ED) visit. Patients frequently come to us for both pain relief, as well as a diagnosis to explain why their body and spine are...

Improving Our Care for Pediatric Patients with Asthma

Improving Our Care for Pediatric Patients with Asthma

By  Katie E. Golden, MD Our pediatric emergency department (ED), as part of Hemby Children’s Hospital at Novant Health Presbyterian Medical Center, has worked hard over the last year to improve the care of children presenting to the ED with asthma. They implemented a...

Diagnosis and Treatment for Stroke

Diagnosis and Treatment for Stroke

By Katie E. Golden, MD When a patient presents to the Emergency Department (ED) for stroke symptoms, the evaluation occurs quickly because the potential treatment is time-sensitive. We do our best as ED clinicians to keep patients and their families informed at every...

The Anatomy of the ER Visit for Chest Pain

The Anatomy of the ER Visit for Chest Pain

By Katie E. Golden, MD Chest pain is understandably one of the most frequent reasons that people present to an emergency department (ED). While it is a common symptom, it can potentially be the sign of a severe condition, and thus warrants a time-sensitive evaluation....