Top 10 things ER doctors want you to know

You must have heard about it here or there, right now (and for several years, even) it’s the crisis in the emergency room. ERs are short of beds, staff, and time. Suddenly, the services look like battlefields where doctors and nurses somehow manage far too many patients. Seriously, they suck, even when there’s no big wave of Covid. It’s obviously an aberration to end up with such a messed up system in 2022, and our government would have to decide to move its ass one of these four, but, in the meantime, we’ll tell you what emergency workers would like you knew. It would relieve them a little.

2. You will wait

Unless you have a knife stuck in your chest, have a heart attack or something serious that needs to be treated urgently, you’re going to wait. For a long time, a priori. So grab a book, watch shows on your phone, text your friends, write your memoirs, write a letter to your ex (no, not that), or do whatever you want but keep busy. In peace, if possible, because otherwise it quickly becomes chaos. Time will pass more quickly that way.

3. A cold or gastro are not emergencies

Every day, loads of people show up at the emergency room because they have a little headache, because they’ve thrown up three times a day, or because their knee feels a little weird when they put themselves on in this very specific position… in short, they come for minor sores or temporary illnesses that are nothing at all. And it wastes everyone’s time. There are general practitioners for that, and they do their job very well.

4. If you have any doubts about the urgency of your situation, first call a doctor (and possibly the Samu)

Let’s say you have more than just a boo, or more than just gastro, and you still have doubts about the need to go to the emergency room. In this case, call a doctor to explain what you have. He will know how to redirect you properly, since he has done years of study for that. You can also call the Samu, but the Samu is already overwhelmed with calls and should be reserved for emergencies. Yes, it’s a bit weird: you’re being asked to figure out for yourself if you’re in an emergency situation when you’re not even a doctor, but basically try to separate things to the extent of the possible. No need either to fall into the opposite extreme and shout “NO EVERYTHING IS OK I WILL GO TO THE DOCTOR TOMORROW” while a 20 cm nail pierces your skull. You have to know how to keep reason.

5. There are on-call doctors

A lot of people go to the emergency room when they have a little problem at night or on the weekend and their general practitioner is not available. Emergencies are not used to take over from GPs, they are used for emergencies (it’s written on it as well). To take over from the general practitioner at night or on weekends, there are on-call doctors who also do their job very well.

6. Sometimes you are made to wait on purpose

It may happen that the emergency physicians make you wait, not for the pleasure of keeping you hanging around, but because there is a mandatory observation time. For example, for some falls, the first few hours are crucial to see if there is a trauma or something serious. In short, these people know what they are doing, trust them.

7. If your child under 3 months has a fever, go to the emergency room

This is just one example among many, but if you are parents of very young children, immediately memorize the cases where you should not even ask the question and go to the emergency room. For once, you will be told that you did well to move.

8. Here are some examples of situations where you have to go to the emergency room (whether you are an adult or a child)

You must go to the emergency room – or call the Samu to be taken care of – if you have a hemorrhage (a wound that does not stop bleeding after a few minutes), breathing difficulties, intoxication (especially with a unknown and/or dangerous product), severe burn, chest pain, pain in left arm, sudden allergic swelling, bloody diarrhea, stroke symptoms like sudden partial paralysis, electric shock, body foreign material that cannot be removed from a part of the body, a violent fall, or severe pain in the head or stomach.

This is obviously a non-exhaustive list, but it already covers a lot of situations where, for once, you can rush to the emergency room without thinking.

9. Small point GHB, because it is unfortunately very common at the moment

If you think you have been the victim of GHB poisoning (in the glass or by injection), you must go to the emergency room or to the CEGIDD (Free Center for Information, Screening and Diagnosis). It is really an emergency, already because your condition can be serious, and also because you have to do a screening as soon as possible to determine if there are indeed traces of GHB in your body. Generally, it is said that the substance is still detectable within 12 hours after ingestion or injection, although this varies from case to case. In short, do not hesitate to go to the emergency room for that, we will welcome you there as it should.

10. ERs are tired of people coming to the ER for this:

– Requests for medical certificates

– Prescription renewals

– A little check-up before going on vacation

– A vaccination

– A request for a work stoppage

– A little pain that has been dragging on for several weeks

– A pregnancy test

It sounds crazy, but it’s all still very common. And ERs REALLY don’t need to waste time on this.

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