Sunday, November 18, 2007

Emergency Department

I was 21 when I paid my first visit to the ED. My parents took me to the local ED at about 2am. I was doubled over in pain and vomiting. You guessed it, kidney stone. I was immediately taken to a room, seen by a physician and given pain medicine--I really don't know what all happened after that.......

The next visit was 18 months later. This time it was my roommate who took me to the ED in the middle of the night. Again, I was doubled over in pain and vomiting. Again, I was taken immediately to a room. I remember a nurse saying, "Honey, I have kidney stones too, and I'm going right now to get you some pain medicine."

A year ago today, I broke my ankle. After arriving at the ED, I was triaged by a nice nurse and promptly taken back to a room. My total time in the ED-- triage, x-rays, MD visit, splinting-- took less than an hour.

And just so you know, all this happened at 3 different hospitals, in 2 different states.

I've only had to go the ED 3 times in my entire life, and all 3 times were emergencies. Maybe that is why my experiences with the ED have been positive.


jon said...

I've been to the emergency room at least a dozen times. Never for me, although I did have an urgent care episode when an abcess became painfully inflamed and grew as large as a walnut in 12 hours.(The intern's heart was in the right place, but his injection only deadened the surface. I chewed through a pillow while he dug out the crud)

All of my visits with family members have been good, but I'm thinking it's because there was a genuine emergency. Medical folks recognize this and put the endangered patients to the front of the line.

The only sour note was waiting for the opportunity for my wife and I to visit MIL, who was bleeding severly from diverticulitis. There were two people with the flu shivering and contaminating in the waiting room. I stayed away and washed with clorox when I got home. I don't know what type of treatment they received,(if any but advice, otc meds and rest) but I'm willing to bet they infected a few dozen people while they were there.

Question for medical folks: Why don't they have a seperate area for these type of patients? I know there is a money consideration, but there could at least be a special room for them to wait in with a skull and crossbones on the door.

Peri1020 said...

I agree, Jon. I had to take my mother to the emergency room several years ago because she had fallen at work and sprained her ankle and wrist. While waiting for her, a couple with a small child sat next to me. The child acted like she had a cold. Ten days later, I'm at the doctor's wondering what the red marks on my face and arms are. His diagnosis--chicken pox (which I never had as a child). The incubation period for chicken pox is 10-14 days. Guess where I caught it?