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Emergency Room: Four tips that can smooth your visit

In an emergency, you may not be able to tell your care providers about your complete medical history or you may be unavailable if your child needs attention in the emergency department of your local hospital. Here are four tips that can smooth your visit.

  1. Plan Ahead. Keep a medical history form for each family member and a consent-to-treatment form for children. You can find additional forms online at the American College for Emergency Physicians Emergency Care for You site. These forms are here to help you get the care you need in a life-threatening situation.
  2. You might not be seen right away. Patients are evaluated so the sickest patients are seen first, a system called triage.
  3. Be specific. The more details you can provide about your symptoms, the better we can help you.
  4. Follow all discharge instructions. Getting better depends on the advice of the doctor who treated you. Be clear about what you need to do before you leave. If not, don't hesitate to ask questions later.
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