Thursday, September 28, 2006

Need a Trip to the ER? How to Decide.

resources to rely on
I'm Pretty Sure

I Don't Have

A Clue...

It's late and it's serious - maybe. Do you jump in the car, bed-head be damned, and make a mad dash to the emergency room? Or, do you trust the stay-at-home instincts of your husband, who gives you his most empathetic nod and whispers earnestly, "I'll get my tackle box"?

Don't despair. The American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) feels your pain. Their recently published "When Should I Go to the Emergency Department?" provides guidelines to assist in making the right choice. Among the conditions that warrant a trip to the emergency room:

* You have difficulty breathing or shortness of breath

* You have chest, or upper abdominal, pain or pressure

* You experience fainting, sudden dizziness or weakness

* You have uncontrolled bleeding

* You have suicidal feelings

* You experience difficulty speaking

Other tips to assure you receive the best care when you visit to the ER? Three stand out. First, bring a list of your medications and know your allergies. This is an invaluable help to the treating physician and is a vital step of self-protection against serious medication errors. Second, know your immunization history. Finally, stay calm. Certainly easier said then done - this is the EMERGENCY room, after all - but, staying calm gives you the best shot at clearly communicating your condition to the ER staff.

See the link below to find the complete list of the conditions for which ACEP recommends a trip to the emergency department. You may want to print a copy for future reference. Come to think of it, you may want to print two - your husband will need one for his tackle box.

See the complete list at: When Should I Go to the Emergency Department?


Blogger sylvia c. said...


I had to go to the Emergency Room for a migraine once, and I felt so silly the next day.

After all, as some people may have seen it, I "only" had a headache.

But your post made me realize I had every right to seek help.

Thanks for the reassurance.

Sylvia C.

5:23 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home