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Should I go to the Emergency Department?

Posted 05-14-2022, 10:46 AM
I see it all the time, someone comes into the Emergency Department and waits around for hours because it isn't an emergent injury. We will see you, but at a hospital we use something called triage where the most critical patients are treated first. Patients will get mad they are waiting and become a hassle to deal with. In this blog I will give you some quick tips on what's the right decision.

I am not a doctor, I have worked within medicine for a decade and these are just my personal opinions. If you are unsure reach out to your provider or if something is life threatening go to the Hospital immediately.

When is it a good time to go to the ED:
Anytime you have a life threatening injury that needs to be addressed immediately. The ED is a great resource because we have so many opportunities for quick testing from blood, CT scans, MRIs, X-rays, Ultrasound, etc. as well as having the resources of medications and experts there 24/7 for traumas and medical emergencies.
Chest pain, significant bleeding, severe headaches, pregnancy complications, dizziness or loss of consciousness, falls greater than 15 feet, anything you think is an immediate danger to your life or keep you in tremendous pain if you don't get treatment ASAP.

When is it a bad time to go to the ED:
When you have a not serious injury that can be made an appointment with your PCM or be seen at an Urgent Care. Urgent care is a great resource for smaller injuries or illnesses because they don't sit on patients as long as the ED, they get them in and out as soon as possible. They still have testing capabilities as well as doctors and nurses on staff. These are great options for things like nonsevere injuries you've had for a long time and want to be seen for it, minor sickness, diarrhea(without blood), cuts, scrapes, bruises, basically anything that will not harm you or keep you in tremendous pain while you wait to be seen.

Komodo's 2 cents
Take all of this with a grain of salt. The amount of times I've treated a kid because their parents didn't know what Tylenol is, or put a bandaid on someone and discharged them because it was a cut is ridiculous. Obviously if you think you need to go to an Emergency Department by all means go, I just want people to know the other options. By law you will be seen and treated at the ED, you might just be waiting longer depending on the severity of your injury or sickness.
05-14-2022, 04:05 PM
Waiting in the ED is generally a sign of good health.