Healthy Living: Visits to the emergency room
A trip to the emergency room can be stressful and confusing not only for the patient, but for the family as well. As Marcie Fraser reports, there are some things you need to remember.
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Each day, thousands of people rush through the emergency room doors for treatment for anything from cuts and broken bones to life threatening illnesses.
"Patients with heart attack, patients with stroke like symptoms, anaphylactic reaction, a reaction to a bee sting, having difficulty breathing," said Ann Marie Cross, Emergency Room Director.
When registering, be sure to report pertinent medical history.
"Their allergies, if they have any past illnesses, surgeries they might have had, heart attacks in the past, if the patient can't tell us it's very helpful if they have a family member we can ask," said Cross.
On any medications? Alert the staff as soon as you can.
"What medications they are on, how often they take it and what the dosage is. That is so key and critical especially with what we call, med. reconciliation, keeping that patient on same the medications, making sure there are no contra-indications with the medication we are giving the patient versus the medication they have been on with their physician," said Cross.
In the midst of an emergency, it's easy to leave behind important documents.
"If they have a copy of their advanced directive which would constitute a living will, it would constitute if it's a DNR or who it is they wanted to designate as a heath care proxy in the event they might not be able to tell us," said Cross.
In some cases, the emergency room wait may seem endless. It's important to keep in mind that the doctors and professionals are probably paying attention to somebody more critical than you. And the wait will most likely be longer on weekends.
"Somebody who may be having a heart attack or somebody maybe having a stroke where we do need the resources there because we need to make a quick diagnosis and get treatment on those patients," said Cross.
And if you are waiting a long time, be sure to avoid eating.
"You just never know if it's an injury and even somebody who is an adolescent, you don't want them to eat or drink because in the event they need to go to surgery, it's important not to have anything to eat or drink,” said Cross.