“Doc, I was so sick over the weekend that I almost went to the emergency room,” is a statement I heard all too often. The fact that the patient was in my office and telling me about it is the good news. The bad news was that, sometimes by delaying going to the emergency room, my patient missed an opportunity to avoid disaster. I know going to the emergency room is time consuming and expensive. I’ve heard it all!
What amazes me is how casually people gamble with their health and their lives. How sick do you have to be to go to the emergency room anyway? Do you have to be on death’s doorstep? I think not. Yet many of my patients wait until they are knocking at death’s door to call 911.
How much pain do you have to be in before you seek help? The guy with the ruptured appendix waited until the pain was a 12 on a scale of 0 to 10 with 10 being the worst pain he had ever felt. Actually, he only decided to go when his temperature hit 104!
How long do you have to suffer before you seek help? Would it amaze you if I told you that a patient seen recently waited a full week before coming in to be treated for his chest pain? I understand not wanting to go to the ER. So, if you don’t want to go to the ER, how about calling the on-call provider? Every practice has an on-call service. If you thought about going to the ER and weren’t sure what to do, don’t you think calling your doc would be a wise decision?
While I’m on the subject, another thing I hear way too often is straight from the spouse’s mouth. “I told him I was calling the paramedics but he said if I did, he would never speak to me again!” Wake up! If he dies, he’s never going to speak to you again!
My advice is that if you think about going to the ER, go. If you decide not to go, call your doc. Then pack a bag because he’s probably going to send you to the ER. What happens if you go to the ER and everything is ok? I guess you get to live another day. Sound better than dying or spending an extended amount of time in the ICU? I think so!
HERE’S YOUR JOKE OF THE DAY:
A doctor is examining a woman in the Emergency Room.
The doctor takes the husband aside and says, “I don’t like the looks of your wife at all.”
“Me neither, Doc. But she’s a great cook and she is really good with the kids.”
2 Replies to “GO TO THE ER”
well Doctor, at one point in my life this last year I waited in an ER for 5 hrs, only to have the wait time go to 7 hrs while I waited. That’s when I left. AND I was referred to ER by one of my physicians. There are a lot of reasons people won’t go to ER.
UNFORTUNATELY, MANY PEOPLE USE THE ER EITHER BECAUSE THEY CAN’T GET AN APPOINTMENT WITH THEIR FAMILY DOC OR BECAUSE THEY DON’T T HAVE A FAMILY DOC. I ARRIVED AT THE ER BY AMBULANCE AND WAS SEEN IMMEDIATELY. LOOK FOR A FAMILY DOC WHO HAS AN ANSWERING SERVICE AND RELY ON HER/HIM. IN TRUE EMERGENCIES, CALL 911.
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