Should I Go to the Emergency Room?

Should I Go to the Emergency Room?

Emergency departments are an essential part of our health care system. The emergency department was designed to provide fast, life-or-limb-saving care. Many people, however, use the ER as a place to receive urgent care without realizing it. If you’re ever in doubt, it’s better to call 911 and go to the closest ER.  Never Drive Yourself to an Emergency Room!

These are just a few of the conditions that ARE medical emergencies:

**** Persistent chest pain, especially if it radiates to your arm, back or jaw or is accompanied by ANY sweating,  vomiting, persistent shortness of breath or wheezing

  • Severe pain, particularly in the abdomen or starting halfway down the back
  • Difficulty speaking, altered mental status or confusion, unable to stick your tongue out.
  • Severe pain, particularly in the abdomen or starting halfway down the back
  • Loss of balance or fainting
  • Difficulty speaking, altered mental status or confusion
  • Sudden, severe headache, loss of vision
  • Sudden testicular pain and swelling
  • Intestinal bleeding
  • Falls with injury or while taking blood thinning medications
  • Broken bones or dislocated joints
  • Deep cuts that require stitches ( especially on the face ) or bleeding that won’t stop
  • Head or eye injuries
  • High fevers or fevers with rash
  • Repeated vomiting
  • Serious burns
  • Seizures without a previous diagnosis of epilepsy

You may also be sent to the ER by your doctor if you have an underlying condition, such as hypertension or diabetes, which could complicate your diagnosis and require extra care.

When to call 9-1-1

Never Drive yourself or  have a loved one drive to the emergency room can be very dangerous. Driving with a family member won’t allow you to get the medical care needed fast enough. Many people may be confused about when to call 911.  It’s better to be safe than sorry. If you are in doubt, please call 911. Taking an ambulance is safer because paramedics can deliver life-saving care on the way to the hospital. It is NOT EVER RECOMMENDED  that you drive a friend or loved one who may be seriously ill to the ER

Urgent care is not emergency care

A study conducted by the National Center for Health statistics found that of patients who had visited the emergency room but were not admitted to the hospital, 48 percent went there because their doctor’s office was not open. Many physicians’ offices are now offering same day appointments for care, but urgent care is an option for when appointments are unavailable or if you need treatment outside of office hours. Urgent care departments are same-day clinics that can handle a variety of conditions that need to be treated right away but is not an emergency. Some symptoms that can be treated at urgent care include:

  • Fever without rash
  • Minor trauma such as a common sprain
  • Painful urination
  • Persistent diarrhea, vomiting or sore throat

If your symptoms come on gradually or you already know the diagnosis, such as a urinary tract infection, you may want to try to get a same day appointment with your primary care provider. While urgent care clinics are always available, your primary care physician will have a better picture of your overall health for a more accurate diagnosis

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