No one wants to have to call emergency care, but sometimes it’s unavoidable. Whether you’re dealing with a minor injury or a major health crisis, it’s important to be prepared for your call. Here are five things you should know before calling emergency care.
When to Call Emergency Care
If you are experiencing a life-threatening emergency, call 911. Signs of a life-threatening emergency include:
-chest pain or pressure
-shortness of breath
-numbness or paralysis in an arm or leg
-severe abdominal pain
-stroke symptoms (sudden dizziness, headache, vision loss)
-changes in mental status or consciousness
If you are not sure whether your situation is an emergency, err on the side of caution and call 911. The operator will be able to help you determine whether you need to go to the hospital.
What to Bring With You
When you call emergency care, the operator will likely ask you a series of questions. Be sure to have the following information ready before making the call:
-The address of the emergency, including cross streets
-A phone number where you can be reached
-The nature of the emergency
-Any medical information about the patient, including allergies and current medications
If you have this information ready, it will help the operator connect you with the appropriate resources and get help on its way as quickly as possible.
What to Expect
If you are experiencing a medical emergency, you should call 911. This is the best way to ensure that you will receive the care that you need.
When you call 911, the operator will ask you questions about your symptoms and will dispatch an ambulance to your location. The ambulance will bring you to the nearest hospital emergency room, where you will be seen by a doctor or nurse.
You may be asked to provide some personal information, such as your name, age, and health insurance information. You will also be asked to sign a consent form.
Once in the emergency room, you will be triaged, which means that the staff will assess the severity of your condition and decide who should be seen first. You may have to wait for a while before being seen by a doctor or nurse.
The staff will ask you more questions about your symptoms and may order tests, such as blood tests or X-rays. They may also give you medication to help relieve your symptoms.
After being treated, you may be discharged from the emergency room or admitted to the hospital for further care.
How to Prepare for Your Visit
If you or a loved one are experiencing a medical emergency, every second counts. Here are some things you can do to prepare for your visit to the emergency room:
- Know your insurance policy and coverage. This will help the staff determine what treatments and tests are covered under your plan.
- Make a list of your current medications, as well as any allergies you have. Be sure to include over-the-counter drugs and supplements too.
- If you have advance directives, such as a living will or power of attorney for health care, bring them with you or make sure they’re easily accessible.
- Gather important personal information, such as your Social Security number and driver’s license number. You’ll also need the contact information for your next of kin.
- Have a copy of your medical history handy, including any previous surgeries, hospitalizations, or illnesses. This will give the doctors treating you a better understanding of your overall health picture.
When you call emergency care, the operator will ask you a series of questions. Be prepared to answer these questions truthfully and as accurately as possible. The more information you can give, the better equipped the medical team will be to provide care.
After you have been seen by a doctor or nurse and your condition has been stabilized, you will be discharged. You will be given instructions on follow-up care, which may include making an appointment with your regular doctor, taking medication, or watching for certain symptoms. It is important that you follow these instructions closely.
If your condition worsens or you experience any new symptoms, do not hesitate to call emergency care again.