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Average ER Wait Times

Brandon Regional Hospital

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BRH - Pediatric ER

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Plant City ER

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What is GERD?

GERD is the acronym for gastro-esophageal reflux disease. GERD is due to a weakened lower esophageal sphincter (LES). This sphincter is a "door" between the esophagus and the stomach that normally remains closed and only opens to allow food to pass into the stomach, allows a burp to escape or allows vomitting. In patients with GERD, the LES remains relaxed, allowing stomach acid to bathe the lower esophagus. This acid burns the lining of your esophagus presenting as what is often called "heartburn." It feels like a burning sensation in the middle of the chest. Chronic irritation can permanently damage the delicate inner lining of the esophagus.

Symptoms of GERD:

  • Heartburn/chest pain
  • Hoarseness (often in the morning)
  • Asthma/wheezing/shortness of breath
  • Dry cough
  • Frequent burping
  • Stomach fullness or bloating
  • Sour or bitter taste in mouth
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Sensation of food stuck in throat
  • Waking up at night with vomit or acid in throat (wet burp) or on pillow
  • Bad breath
  • Change in sense of taste
  • Change in sense of smell

Complications of GERD:

  • Erosion of the esophagus (esophagitis)
  • Narrowing of the esophagus (esophageal stricture)
  • Regurgitation of acid into the lungs
  • Barrett's Esophagus (increased risk of esophageal cancer)
  • Esophageal cancer
  • Adult onset asthma
  • Tooth Enamel Erosion
  • Pneumonia (infection of the lungs)
  • Pulmonary fibrosis (scarring of the lungs)
  • Sinusitis
  • Ulcerations/bleeding