Dr. Oz: Emergency Room Wait Times
Dr. Oz talked to Dr. Phillip Blanc about the growing waiting times in Emergency Rooms. He said a lot of places we’re used to going use a first come, first serve basis. Emergency rooms take care of the most serious problems first.
Dr. Blanc said people should consider going to see their primary care doctor or an urgent care center if they have less serious symptoms.
Dr. Oz: Do I Need the ER?
One key way to know if you should go to the ER is if you have unexplained symptoms you’ve never had before. For instance, if you never have headaches, but all of a sudden you have a severe, sudden headache, you should consider the ER. If you can’t focus on your day job because of the pain, that’s a good reason to visit. Other symptoms might include chest pain, dizziness, or numbness or weakness on one side. Obviously, if you’ve lost consciousness, you should definitely go.
Dr. Oz: Bleeding Rapidly
If you’ve cut yourself and your bleeding goes away after holding pressure for 5 to 10 minutes, there’s no need to go to emergency. But if the bleeding continues after five to ten minutes, and especially if it’s gushing, then definitely head to emergency.
Dr. Oz: Serious Vomiting
A pretaped video from gastroenterologist Dr. Roshini Rajapaksa told the audience that extreme vomiting, such as two to three times in an hour, could dehydrate you, so it’s important to go to the ER. Dr. Oz said that if you vomit in the ER, that helps you get seen really quickly.
If you’ve had diarrhea for many days or if you have blood in stool or if it’s associated with severe pain, you should go to the ER. If it’s less serious, you should maybe see your primary care doctor.
Dr. Oz: Serious Trauma
If you have trauma, such as an injury from an external blow or force that results in symptoms of serious pain, bruising, and lots of bleeding, you will want to go to the ER.
Dr. Oz: Be Specific About Symptoms
Always make sure to be specific about your symptoms. Describe the symptoms, say what you think is wrong, and share the history of what happened. Also make sure to bring someone with you, who can help share your history and help gauge if you’re acting different than you normally do.
Dr. Oz: Worst Times for ER
The worst time to go to the ER is after work. The best time is 3 a.m. to 8 a.m.
Dr. Oz: ER Wait Watcher
There’s a new website out there called the ER Wait Watcher that can help you determine which ER to go to based on the wait time. You just type in your ZIP code and it tells you the closest hospitals with the shortest wait times.