Thousands of Americans visit emergency rooms (ERs) for medical treatment every year. Many of those visits end in injuries because of errors that could have easily been prevented. There are several important steps every person can take to help reduce the risk of injuries and errors in a medical setting.
The first mistake people make is failing to realize whether the emergency is serious enough for a trip to the ER. Some symptoms absolutely necessitate a visit to the ER and accepting this fact is the first step to getting the best possible care. Too often people suffering stroke-like or heart attack symptoms will wait to see if these symptoms will resolve on their own. However, in these situations, time is of the essence. A delay in seeking treatment can only exacerbate the medical problem, resulting in poor outcomes and limited treatment options. Neurologists and cardiologists both agree that time is a factor when trying to protect tissue, whether brain or heart.
Once a patient actually reaches the Emergency Room, it is critical that all symptoms are fully communicated to the ER personnel with absolute clarity. There are several possible factors that can cause errors and injuries in an emergency room, and failure to communicate is top of that list. Carefully recount your symptoms to the staff at the ER. Provide a complete background of your medical history. Give as many details as possible including duration and details of symptoms and the types of medications you are currently taking and for what conditions. No detail is too small or unimportant.