10 Tips For An Effective Emergency Room Visit

Call For Help If

  • Moving the person could cause further injury
  • The person is too heavy for you to lift or help
  • Traffic or distance would cause a life-threatening delay in getting to the hospital

This is a list of general issues to consider.
For more specific information contact your physician.

1. Know what symptoms to report

Review the Crisis Symptom Reporting Guide and have your answers ready!

2. Have your "Caregiver Go Bag" ready

Expecting parents often prepare a bag in advance to take with them in case they have to get to the hospital quickly. Having a similar bag for you and your loved one in case of an emergency will make sure you have what you need when making a trip to the emergency room. Items we recommend packing: phone charger, change of clothes, healthy snacks, and anything that may help pass the time during long waits (books, a deck of cards). Can you think of anything else you’d want to pack?

3. Introduce yourself

Let the staff know who you are.

4. Have your information ready

Make sure to have your updated documents with you. Keep a copy of these in your Caregiver Go Bag.

5. Communicate needed information

Provide documentation you’ve brought and answer any questions.

6. Stay calm when you're with your loved one and staff

Your loved one may already be nervous or scared, and that’s on top of the already hectic energy of an ER. Stay calm.

7. Stay out of the way and be patient

Things are fast-paced in the emergency room. Don’t get in the way of staff doing their job.

8. Ask for updates!

Don't hesitate to ask for updates.

9. Stay in touch with others

You may want to provide updates to other family and friends so they know what is going on. Did you remember to pack your phone charger in your Caregiver Go Bag?

10. Express your thanks!

Those in the emergency room have a tough job. Show them you’re thankful for the care they are providing to your loved one.

 

Is It Time To Go To The Emergency Room?

When is a crisis a crisis? When should you call someone else for help? Get help when your loved one is in some kind of medical distress and you are not sure what to do. Call your local rapid-response number (e.g., 911 in the US or 112 in the EU) or an ambulance if the person you are caring for:

  • Is unconscious
  • Has unexplained chest pain or pressure
  • Is having trouble breathing or is not breathing at all
  • Has no pulse
  • Is bleeding severely
  • Is vomiting blood or bleeding from the rectum
  • Has fallen and may have broken bones
  • Has had a seizure
  • Has a severe headache and/or slurred speech
  • Has pressure or severe pain in the abdomen that does not go away
  • Is unusually confused or disoriented