Male doctor checking blood pressure of a female patient

Should I go to the E.R.?

After an accident, an ambulance may take you to the emergency room. However, if EMTs declare you coherent, you may refuse transportation to the E.R.. Regardless of the severity of your accident, you should seek the opinion of a trained medical professional; to receive the treatment you need.

Furthermore, you may not see or feel your injuries for days or weeks following your accident. It is best to seek medical attention as soon as possible to reduce the risk of developing a greater injury.

However, if you do not want to go to the emergency room, there are a few alternatives. For instance, you may visit an urgent care facility or your primary care physician. 

Advantages of Going to the E.R. After an Accident

  • You Will Be Seen Faster Compared To An Urgent Care Visit
  • Same-Day MRI, CT, And X-ray Scans
  • Access To Specialists
  • On-site Pharmacy
  • Financial Difficulty Will Not Disqualify You From Treatment
  • Emergency Rooms Have The Equipment To Handle Most Emergencies

Who is Considered Coherent?

In order to be considered coherent, the attending EMTs must find you capable of understanding the consequences of your decision.

If you refuse medical help, you will have to sign a form stating your denial of medical attention. This form will also require the signature of an attending EMT, and a witness. 

Minors, intoxicated individuals, and those with diminished mental capacity cannot refuse medical assistance. 

Emergency Room Alternatives

doctor sitting at a desk

Urgent Care Facilities:

Urgent Care facilities have the ability to treat those with non-life-threatening injuries. Further, if you need to seek specialist care, or need a referral for a primary care physician, urgent care doctors can direct you to the appropriate parties.

Your Primary Care Physician: 

After an accident, you may seek the care of a medical provider that you know and trust. However, they likely do not have the equipment needed to handle severe injuries.

What Factors Should I Consider When Deciding to go to the E.R.?

When deciding whether to go to the E.R. you should take into account the level of pain you are experiencing, as well as the location(s) of your pain. If you are experiencing pain in your neck or back, you may have sustained spinal or brain injuries and should seek immediate medical attention.

Symptoms may not appear right away. If you do not feel pain immediately after the accident, you should still seek medical attention.

Pain Scale Break Down

woman with her hands on her head

The pain scale is often misunderstood, and as a result, pain may be misrepresented by the patient. The levels of pain are defined as follows: 

0- I have no pain.

1- My pain is hardly noticeable.

2- I notice my pain only when I pay attention to it.

3- My pain bothers me, but I can ignore it most of the time.

4- I am always aware of my pain, but I am able to continue most activities.

5- I think about my pain most of the time, and I cannot complete some of my daily activities because of it.

6- I think about my pain all of the time. I have given up several activities because of it.

7- I am in pain all the time. It stops me from doing most activities.

8- I find it hard to think of anything other than my pain. Talking and listening are difficult.

9- My pain is all that I think about. I can barely talk or move because of the pain.

10- I cannot move due to my pain. I need immediate help.

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