Going to The Emergency Room

When your child is injured or ill, there are times when you need to bring him to the emergency room. There, you can expect to receive care regardless of the time, day or gravity of the injury or illness.

In some cases, the ER is the most appropriate place to receive care.

When you need to go to the ER, you should know what to do once you’re there. Knowing the following information ahead of time can really help a lot.

Finding the right ER at the right time

Even before you’re in a situation where you may need to go to the ER, talk with your doctor about what to do and what ER to go to. Your doctor may refer you to an ER that is closest to your home, or the ER in a hospital where he regularly sees patients.

In case of an emergency, you may bring your child to an ER at a. children’s hospital if it is conveniently located, because they are committed to caring for kids. They have the most pediatric staff and facilities. You may bring your child to the ER of the nearest hospital because they can probably provide the medical care that your child needs. If that hospital does not have the equipment necessary to treat your child’s condition, the doctors there will arrange a transfer to another facility that has.

Preparation

When you go to the ER, it is crucial that you understand your child’s symptoms. It is also important for you to know your child’s medical history. Consider keeping a comprehensive and updated record at home and at your workplace since an emergency can drive everything out of your mind.

If you go to the ER because your child has swallowed something (a drug or a household product) bring that object to the ER. It will help the doctors determine the type of treatment necessary. Except for the most critical emergencies, be prepared to wait. Bring materials that will keep you occupied such as books, knitting, toys, etc. Also consider bringing pen and paper to take note of questions you may have for the doctor.

What to expect

There’s no telling how long you’ll have to wait to be seen at the ER.

Doctors attend tot the most critical injuries and illnesses first.

If you’re child has a severe medical condition, rest assured that doctors will provide the necessary care right away.

Minor injuries and illnesses will have to wait longer. Even if the waiting room is empty, you may still have to wait if the exam rooms are all filled or if many doctors and nurses are attending to a serious case.

While waiting, you and your child will probably see some very sick-looking or injured people. Seeing and hearing them can be a bit frightening to your child. Assure your child that the ER is the place where sick or injured people go to be treated by doctors.

Soon after arriving at the ER, your child will be seen by a nurse, who will ask for symptoms, check vital signs, and make a quick evaluation. This is called a triage. This helps determine how fast your child will be seen by a doctor.

Write down important information that happens to avoid confusion or having to ask about them again. These may include any medications or treatment they give your child, or directions for follow-up care at home.

In most cases, a specialist may not be available to treat your child during the weekend or at night. But if your child requires it, one will be called in for you. If your child needs surgery one will be contacted.

Usually the doctor who sees your child at the ER will contact your child’s primary care doctor afterwards. If your child is admitted to the hospital, your ER doctor will let inform your child’s doctor. Some ERs give written or computer-generated documentation of the visit, while others dictate or fax the report to your child’s primary care doctor. Bring a copy of the papers you receive when your child is discharged to share with your doctor.

Source: MSN health