What You Can Do to Help Your Visit to The ER
Here are a few ways you can ensure your ER visit is more effective:
- Make sure you have your health card, your family doctor’s information, and a list of your allergies and major surgeries. Bring your child’s immunization records. Also bring a list of prescription and non-prescription medications, with dosages, especially if you’re a caregiver accompanying an elderly person seeking medical help. If you do not have time to make a list, then please bring the bottles.
- Bring a friend or family member to keep you company, listen to what the doctor says, and ensure you understand and remember information exchanged during your visit. If you’re alone and your condition is urgent or life-threatening, please call 911 right away.
- To avoid spreading or catching anything, wash your hands frequently and use the disinfectant dispensers to clean your hands upon arrival. Wear a mask if you think you might spread your condition by coughing, or if your immune system is weak.
- Do not snack while you’re waiting. If you eat or drink something while you’re waiting and later learn you need emergency surgery, then your full stomach may delay surgery.
- Make sure you know what to do when you go home from the hospital. If you’re discharged, don’t leave until you understand exactly what you have been told and what you are supposed to do. Clarify any danger signs you should watch for and whom to contact for a follow-up.
- Be aware that symptoms you consider minor can signal major trouble. If you’re experiencing shortness of breath, chest pain, tingling in a limb, slurred speech, drooping facial features, a sudden change in vision, a sustained fever or severe abdominal pain, get to the ER right away. Broken limbs and cuts also merit a visit, as well as children with symptoms of dehydration (frequent vomiting or diarrhea resulting in a decrease in body fluids).