Doctor’s Office or Emergency Department? Choose Wisely

Heart attack. Stroke. Severe burns. For medical cases like these, immediate care at a full service emergency department (ED) is the obvious choice. “We’re here for the community,” says Marita Volk, MD, director of the Emergency Department at the Euclid Hospital. “When in doubt, remember: we’ll see anyone, anytime for anything."

The emergency department treats conditions that require immediate care for a sudden and unexpected medical condition, or for the worsening of a condition that suddenly threatens a life limb, or vision. Call 911 or go immediately to the ED in the case of medical emergencies, including:
• Loss of consciousness
• Signs of heart attack or stroke
• Sudden, severe pain and/or chest pain
• Uncontrolled or excessive bleeding
• Coughing up or vomiting blood
• Head injury
• Eye injuries
• Bone and joint injuries
• Severe burns or pain
• Sudden or unexpected paralysis
• Difficulty breathing
• Poisoning or suspected poisoning
• Major injuries
• Accidents, including falls and car crashes
• Extreme emotional distress
• Suicidal or homicidal feelings
• Drug overdose
• Injuries caused by violence, such as gun-shot wounds

Other conditions, like earache, sore throat or muscle strain, may be better handled by an express or urgent care center or your primary care doctor.

Your primary care doctor is the person to go to for your healthcare basics, such as wellness checkups and screenings, and for specialist referrals. They should always have your medical information on file. They may not be able to see you in an urgent situation, but their main focus is on disease prevention and helping you stay healthy.

To avoid unnecessary ED trips:
• Learn the signs of true medical emergencies like stroke and heart attack. 
• Develop a relationship with a primary care physician who has your medical information on file and can see you in a pinch.

When life-threatening situations occur, call 9-1-1. For urgent medical needs, call 911 or visit:
Euclid Hospital Emergency Department
18901 Lakeshore Blvd.
Euclid, Ohio 44119

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Volume 6, Issue 8, Posted 7:59 PM, 09.03.2014