Emergency Medicine 1
Monday, May 18, 2009

More than 115 million Americans go to the Emergency Room every year for symptoms ranging from a high fever to chest pain. In todayís 60 Second Housecall, Dr. Edward Hill explains emergency care.

An emergency is a serious medical condition caused by an injury or sickness, or mental illness, which arises suddenly and requires immediate care and treatment to avoid disability or death.

If a medical condition arises suddenly and you believe that without immediate care and treatment your life or health is in jeopardy, you should go to the emergency room.

Some examples include:

∑ Signs of a heart attack that last two minutes or longer

∑ Signs of stroke, like sudden onset of numbness in any extremity

∑ Severe shortness of breath

∑ Bleeding that wonít stop, and,

∑ Coughing up or vomiting blood

Emergency departments are staffed with highly skilled physicians who have specialty training in managing catastrophic illnesses or life-threatening injuries.

People often think of going to the Emergency Department when an illness or injury occurs because it is convenient and open 24 hours a day. However, patients with minor or non life-threatening illnesses often have to wait a long time for care while other more seriously injured patients are evaluated.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Iím Dr. Edward Hill.