Appointment
Appointment
  • 773-775-0300Call today!
  • 6560 W Higgins Ave.Chicago, Illinois
Appointment

When should I go to the Emergency Room?

This month, I’ve had the privilege of working in the emergency department at one of the busiest hospitals in Chicago. I’ve had the chance to treat real emergencies, but have also seen a lot of situations that really weren’t emergencies. What does constitute a medical emergency worthy of an ER trip?

This is a difficult question, even for me. If I’m feeling unwell, I like to receive treatment for my condition quickly, and have immediate answers about my ailments. I was no stranger to both Urgent care and ER as I grew up.

It’s impossible to list all of the reasons why you should, or should not, go to the ER, and legally, no one can tell you whether or not to go in. But, I can share some experiences that will hopefully help delineate emergencies from non-emergencies.

Must go situations:

If you have a life-threatening condition:

Shortness of breath—this isn’t just having a hard time catching your breath after exercising; if you are having a difficult time breathing and getting enough oxygen, go in and get treated, as this may be indicative of a more serious condition.

Chest pain—sharp, stabbing, or burning sensations in the chest, unrelated to food consumption, can be indicative of a serious condition. If you suspect heart problems, get it checked out.

Uncontrolled bleeding—If you can’t get the bleeding to stop, because of the seriousness of the injury, or because you’re on a blood thinner, go in right away!

Lacerations—If your cuts are deep, and require more than a bandaid to hold them closed, go in for stitches or staples. You might have to wait a little longer depending on the seriousness, so consider an urgent care facility.
If you have an open wound or ulceration and develop fever/nausea/vomiting/chills—these are indicative of an infection, and you need immediate treatment.

Broken bones – although not immediately life-threatening, broken bones need immediate treatment, and are definitely a reason to come in.

Suspected miscarriage—if you’re pregnant and begin bleeding, or have any sudden gush of fluid, call your o.b, if you have one, and get to the ER or the hospital where your doctor is on call.

Complications after surgery – Follow your doctor’s instructions which will tell you when you should go to the ER.

Why should you not go to the ER?

This is a tougher one at times, yet, let me explain a few times when you should schedule an appointment with a podiatrist
1) Why today? Why right now?

This is a great question to ask yourself if you have a less serious condition, but decide that you prefer to spend 3 hours in the ER instead of setting an appointment with your primary care physician for a more convenient time.

If you answer this with: my condition is significantly worse or is worsening; the pain has drastically increased or is now unrelenting and constant; you suspect an infection with pus, drainage, inflammation, red streaks spreading away from infection site, accompanied by a fever…then you should go in to the ER, otherwise, make an appointment.

2) Chronic pain—if you’ve had foot pain for months, you can probably wait for an appointment with a podiatrist instead of going to the ER and waiting there, to likely only get a referral to a podiatrist.

3) Acute injury—it hurts, but isn’t broken, and you can manage the pain until you can see a podiatrist.

4) ER doctors are amazing, but they are not specialists. You will not get the specialized care you may need to best treat your condition in the ER. If you have a foot problem, call your podiatrist.

5) Would you take an ambulance? Would you request help for your problem at the scene of an accident, after a tornado devastated the area? These questions can help you assess the severity of your condition.

Here are some real-life examples where it was a good Reason the patient came into the ER:

1) Torn Achilles tendon: patient heard a loud pop playing a sport
2) Large laceration that wouldn’t heal on its own, severe bleeding
3) Infection: redness, swelling, hot, loss of function to the foot. Accompanied by fever, nausea and chills.
Reasons we thought the patient shouldn’t have come in:
4) Heel pain that patient has been dealing with for 1 year
5) Fungal nails thought to be an “ingrown toenail”—a topic for another post (ingrown toenails aren’t emergencies either, and ER doctors aren’t as equipped to take care of an ingrown toenail as your podiatrist is.)
6) Foot fungus/rash

  • Share this post

Previous Article Why Do We Develop Corns and Calluses?
Next Article Cosmetic Foot Surgery—To Cut or Not to Cut

Comments

  1. Where to find Casing in France (Menton)? Menton is definitely a enchanting town- and less touristy
    than some other towns along the Med. There are sites like Booking.com and HomeAway
    or VRBO where one can reserve, but usually for only 30 days.

    However, on VRBO, you communicate directly
    with the owner, and may possibly workout a negotiated cost for the
    a few months you’re… show even more vous pouvez essayer des foyers d étudiants / try the college student hostel

  2. MUST I cancel my visit to France in the end that has happened with terrorism recently?
    Someplace in the world, someone is usually dying at any given minute- from a
    vehicle accident or a communicable disease, or possibly from falling
    off a mountain while taking a selfie or dropping down actions when searching for Pokemon. You can either shut yourself
    in your closet to be secure, or you can appreciate your life
    and consider the… show more I am a african american gal and I was
    considering a similar thing. I too won’t cancel my
    visit to backpack through France 😀 have a great time.
    I hear France is worth the money.

  3. What’s your heritage? I’ve some ancestor who arrived at Jamestown Virginia 1608.
    That’s before the Mayflower settlement. I likewise have some Jewish ancestry on my mother’s part and Irish on my father’s.
    When all my paternal grandmother’s sons had been home, it was a room
    full of head waggers. Oh, there is normally some German on…
    show even more i don’t have heritage,everything should deep on myself

  4. Why would a married few who used to wear wedding rings,
    now not wear them? Either of them.? Just in general. Maybe they have to be resized, and when they
    required them off, they realized how much more comfortable it isn’t to wear
    a ring.

  5. Can I scan on a pc with no a printer? yes… printers only print.
    you need a scanner to scan to a pc (they will vary devices) yes…
    printers only print. you will need a scanner to scan to a pc (they will vary devices)

  6. I need to have toward go over some of the authentic producing upon my net & was
    thinking how in the direction of do this…. a)Can I place
    the Copyright notation upon it devoid of revealing my correct
    popularity? . b)How do I consist of evidence that it is my
    primary hard work? How in excess of conserving the crafting inside MS Phrase?.

    c)Is there any reality inside of copyrighting the content articles/world wide web?.

  7. Can I sue Sony for stealing my notion of a PlayStation 4?

    I noticed the question and burst out laughing.
    Bravo. Then I clicked onto it and noticed that folks had
    in fact taken the time to write lengthy responses.
    You must by crying with laughter. It has made my day.
    Done well Ps I say yes you should sue them.
    I’m not a attorney but I was ordained as
    a priest on the internet in… display more You generally have no case for various factors.
    1) Sony already gets the trademark for the PlayStation brand, which would consist of naming iterations — I understand it’s not
    that creative, but slapping a new number only accounts for a roughly
    8.333% change in the name… which still provides Sony almost all stake on that argument.
    There is also the issue of “Brand Misunderstandings”, which
    you would automatically get rid of to Sony due to the trademark & at least 3 consoles that follow suit.
    2) Sony (along with Microsoft & Nintendo) begin development on the next gaming console ALMOST Soon after the
    discharge of their current console — Meaning that Sony started work on the PS4 back in 2006 / 2007 (a whole 5 years before your observed “idea”).
    3) You do not have any concrete evidence of ANY COMPONENTS (including hardware & software program) you DESIGNED
    & Made that shows up in Sony’s PS4 — Many gaming console manufacturers typically maintain all information on their next console a secret specifically for this cause.
    No courtroom or judge in america (much less the globe) would choose to
    hear your case, noting it as completely frivolous.
    You would more likely obtain slapped without a counter-suit, that your courts would more
    significantly appear at (as Sony’s case against
    you’d be a lot more substantial), in the event you proceed with this kind of a foolish endeavor.
    Unless you have a completely unique console (with a working prototype) with
    all files & paperwork legally timestamped PRIOR to
    gaming console maker you’re consider to litigate…
    the company lawyers will probably perhaps
    you have “dead to legal rights” before you reach the
    courtroom.

  8. Is Alameda a relatively safe and sound place? Alameda is okay.
    The city has a wonderful stretch of beach and coastline along the bay plus they ve kept it good.
    The town itself is generally a safe and good enough place.
    Alameda is actually an island, therefore stick to it and you ll be fine.
    Go over the bridge or through the tunnel and other
    aspect of the freeway, and it… present more Alameda was originally a summertime get away for those who resided in SF.
    It still retains some of the sleepy, small city experience.
    Lots of beautiful Victorian buildings, Recreation area Street downtown region lined with shops, restaurants, galleries and a good community
    theater. Lots of areas along the shoreline for jogging, biking and strolling.

    There really isn’t a lot of a shipyard still left it is now a historic area and several of the Mythbuster’s episodes have been filmed there.

  9. I feel this is among the so much important info for me.
    And i’m satisfied reading your article. But want to observation on some normal issues,
    The site style is ideal, the articles is really great : D.
    Excellent activity, cheers

Leave a Comment