Excerpt from the Book
When do I need to go to the emergency room (ER)? How do I get there? What happens once I am there?
A medical emergency is when:
- The absence of medical care can result in serious impairment to bodily function.
- The absence of medical care can result in serious dysfunction of any bodily organ or part.
- The absence of medical care can result in serious jeopardy to the health of the individual or unborn child.
If you do have a medical emergency: Call 911. Do not drive yourself or be driven to the ER in a car, bus, or taxi.
Call 911 for the following symptoms:
- Chest pain, suspected heart attack
- Difficulty breathing
- Severe and persistent abdominal pain
- Uncontrolled or excessive bleeding
- Head injury
- Loss of consciousness
- Poisoning (after you’ve called the Poison Control hotline at 1-800-222-1222)
- Severe burn
- High fever over 103 degrees, especially in children
- Diabetic complications such an insulin shock or ketoacidosis
- Gunshot or stab wounds
What to bring with you to the ER:
- Patient Advocate … or have one meet you at the ER. Allow your advocate to speak for you when necessary.
- Completed health history (include allergies, medications, supplements, immunizations, diseases, conditions, operations, and symptoms)
- Health insurance, Medicare, or Medicaid ID card
- Photo ID
- Copy of your advance directive and DNR (do not resuscitate) if you have them. (See page 80)
- Medicine containers and medication dosages
- Change of clothing and personal items in case you spend the night