When people get hurt or are sick, more than half of them will bring themselves to their local Emergency Room. In the past few years there have been over 130 million emergency cases throughout the United States alone. Over a 14-year period, visits to the ER have increased by almost 44 percent.
Heathcare is primary in the emergency room. Almost half of the care given to hospital patients can be accounted for by the ER. Their incredible work stems from multiple factors including meeting the patient’s needs, having the ability to work fast under extreme circumstances, and providing critical care in a crisis situation.
What Is An Emergency Department?
The actual purpose of an Emergency Department is to save lives. The emergency can be anything that is medical that can cause permanent injury or possibly even death if the situation is not treated rapidly. Pain that is severe, such a kidney or appendicitis pain, is also considered as an emergency according to the level of pain experienced.
Most likely, the emergency room near you works according to their TRIAGE maneuvers. TRIAGE is the way that the hospital workers, nurses, and doctors prioritize who will be treated first. Those people who require the most medical attention, such as the patients who are brought in by ambulances and paramedics, are generally attended to first. They are at the top of the process. For those who can drive themselves or can walk in, nurses will gather their information and assess their situation accordingly. Although this may seem unfair for anyone who is suffering with pain and anguish, TRIAGE is the most systematic way for the emergency personnel to do their jobs correctly and efficiently.
For many people, the emergency room is the only place they can obtain proper healthcare. There are thousands of citizens who don’t have official healthcare and the ER is the only place they can go to get help. For others, it is one place they know they can do to get the help that they need. When an emergency situation appears, it is only common to go to the ER.
What Are The Common Reasons Why People Go To The ER?
The reasons why people go to the emergency room are as vast and varied as the people who visit. They can range from a simple cut and abrasion to a heart attack or stroke. The most common reasons that people go to the emergency rooms, however, may surprise you.
1. Chest pain
The most common reason that people visit an emergency room is due to chest pain. Everyone knows that if you are experiencing any kind of chest pain, it needs to be tended to immediately. This means going to the ER as fast as possible, whether in an ambulance or being driven by a friend or loved one. When there is shortness of breath, sweating, and chest pain, it’s possible that you’re having a heart attack. You should be attended to as soon as possible.
2. Abdominal Pain
There are a variety of complaints in the ER regarding stomach pain. They mostly come from children who are doubled over with pain due to a stomach virus or an infected appendix. This can easily occur in adults as well. Another reason for stomach pain is due to kidney stones and ulcers that are inflamed. These can inflict horrible pain for both male and female patients.
3. Teeth Pain
Sometimes a tooth ache can cause so much pain that only a medical professional can stop the affliction. When a dentist is not available, the emergency room is the next place to go. An infected tooth can shoot pain from the area of the tooth, up the jaw, into the ear and up the side of the head. The pain is severe for anyone involved.
4. Bone and Ligament Problems
Breaking a bone definitely warrants a visit to the emergency room. Children are constantly climbing on trees and falling, breaking arms and legs almost all the time. However, broken bones can happen to anyone despite how old they are.
Broken bones should always be treated immediately, not only because of the nature of the problem, but because they can also cause undue issues and risk to other parts of the body. For example, a rib that is broken can potentially puncture vital organs in the chest cavity, while a broken toe may not cause such a risk. A trip to the emergency room can clarify the issue.
Sprains are also another cause for a trip to the ER. Anyone of any age can endure a sprain due to day-to-day routines of working around the house, taking a walk, exercising at the gym. Any motion of slipping or falling can easily cause such a sprain.
Sprains happen as the ligaments that are attached to the joints are stretched to their limit or torn completely. This may happen beside a broken bone and may happen when the body is twisted during physical exercise or lengthy activity. Although most sprains do not need a trip to the ER, but may require an urgent care visit instead, a broken bone is a different matter.
5. Respiratory Problems
Certain sicknesses or illnesses, such as bronchitis, or the flu, or the common cold, can cause severe breathing issues. When it becomes so bad that you can’t breathe or you’re feeling very short of breath, you need to see a physician as soon as possible.
Some upper respiratory problems may actually come from various viruses that are infectious. These can be spawned by a cold or flu, but if they are not attended to properly, they may take a turn for the worse and become pneumonia. This will definitely require a visit to the ER then.
If you are experiencing an upper respiratory ailment, contact your doctor immediately. If your doctor is not available, then visit the ER as soon as possible. If your symptoms include fainting, continuous diarrhea, vision problems, or abdominal pressure, admit yourself to the ER for your own safety.
6. Back Pains
There are many reasons why people experience back pain. Strained muscles are very common, but so are kidney stones. The range of causes can make anyone decide to visit the ER. Back pain has actually become one of the most common reasons to go to the ER.
This is because there are many reasons for your back to be in pain. You may have been involved in an accident or a faulty move on a stairwell. You could have strained your back muscles or harmed one of the many bones or discs that make up the spinal cord. You may have twisted your back in the wrong direction, or put too much pressure upon it.
There is also the possibility of a condition called spondylosis, which is the degeneration of your lumbar disc, that can cause excruciating pain to your back. There is also the possibility of a herniated disk causing discomfort, or arthritis, or kidney stones. Only a medical professional will be able to diagnose you. Actually, almost any daily activity can cause the back to feel pain and discomfort. This is probably why back pain has slowly become one of the most common causes for a trip to the emergency room.
Infections are vast and can spread quickly. So many infections are now resistant to antibiotics that it takes a physician or medical expert to be able to diagnose an infection properly. With the spread of flesh-eating infections, it is vital that a doctor examines such an infliction to keep from more damage occurring, such as the loss of a limb or loss of life itself. Other symptoms, like fever and nausea, may also accompany an infection, which warrant a trip to the ER.
Any infection of the skin should be examined by a medical professional. The skin is compromised when it’s infected. This can cause even more problems and produce abnormal responses in the body. With a skin infection, your body can produce pus-filled abscesses which are painful and difficult to heal.
With a visit to the emergency room, the physician on call can prescribe medications, drain abscesses, and investigate adverse problems, to help heal the pain and infection. Because infections can spread so quickly, it is advisable to seek professional help for a quick diagnosis.
8. Strange Objects
For one reason or another, strange objects somehow can manage to get their way into our bodies. If a foreign object is in your body, it must be removed as soon as possible. This is of great importance because death could be probable depending on its location.
Although no one knows much about how many times a doctor has removed an odd object from a person’s body, it’s becoming a bigger and bigger problem. A patients’ outlook depends on what the object is and where it is located in the body. It’s said that small objects can pass through the upper intestinal tract with a 90 percent success rate compared to an item that is bigger than 2 centimeters. More than 1200 deaths a year are reported due to foreign objects inside the body.
Choking is also a result of a foreign object being lodged in the throat or esophagus. This can necessitate an immediate visit to the emergency room, if not for the choking, but for the aftereffects from the actual item being removed.
Headaches can be caused by so many reasons such as sinus infections, infected teeth or jaw, stress, a stroke, a head injury, or high blood pressure. Tests may be run to actually detect the cause and determination of how to resolve the pain.
Although a headache may not actually warrant a visit to the emergency room, the physicians there treat them all the time. This is due the uncertainty of the reason for the discomfort. For most people, they understand why their head hurts, but when the reasoning is unsure, a doctor is needed. Such cases like this include excruciating migraines which become chronic. It may be a warning symptom of meningitis, or a brain tumor, or some kind of cerebral hemorrhaging. These problems are severe and may also be accompanied with vomiting and dizziness. With the special equipment in an emergency room, patients can be attended to promptly and efficiently, sometimes saving their lives.
10. Cuts and contusions
Cuts and contusions are very common to find in an emergency room. Most cuts are usually accidental or unintentional. Someone wasn’t paying attention, or there was an accident at work or in the kitchen. The depth of the cut will determine how TRIAGE handles the wound. How much bleeding is there, and is there any debris inside or near the infected area? If the cut has hit bone then it will need to be treated as soon as possible. Though smaller cuts may be addressed at a local urgent care, if the person inflicted is a hemophiliac, their treatment must be immediate.
A contusion, or bruise, along with head trauma, is also high on the list of visiting an ER. Trauma injuries from nonfatal car accidents and vehicular incidents have directed more than 2 million people to the emergency room in one year.
In the movies, or on television, the emergency room may seem dramatic with gurneys being rolled from the ambulances to the operating room, gunshot victims rushed in through the doors, and doctors falling for each other at every turn. However, the truth of the matter is that those things don’t generally happen on a daily basis. Emergency rooms are there to give expert care for the average individual who comes for a multitude of reasons. The ER is also there to help people receive the treatment they need for their symptoms or just when the doctor’s office is closed.
The ER is one of the busiest patient care facilities in the country. It’s also one of the most crowded, with millions of patients going to the ER every year for reasons that range from a headache to infections to head trauma and heart attacks. With all the pain and afflictions that can happen on a daily basis, it is quite to everyone’s advantage and benefit that most hospitals across the country have the proper medical personnel attending to emergency rooms.