People who don’t really need care in an Emergency Department sometimes end up there nonetheless. Here’s why:
- Sometimes it’s not easy to know if a medical problem is an emergency.
- Urgent but non-critical things happen when your doctor’s office is closed.
- Some patients who don’t have a doctor come to the Emergency Department (ED) for care that is not urgent.
If you believe it’s an emergency, don’t hesitate to go to the Emergence Department.
If in doubt, call your child’s Primary Care provider for advice, even during off hours.
If you don’t have a Primary Care provider for your child, don’t wait for an urgent situation. Get one now.
Choosing to go to an ED for a minor health problem isn't a good idea for many reasons:
- Your child’s Primary Care Physician knows his or her health history. An ED staff will need you to provide your child's complete medical history and may have to perform extra tests to cover all the bases.
- Continuity of care—when the same medical professional sees your child for both initial treatment and follow-up care is generally the ideal.
- Emergency Departments are set up to treat the most sick and injured first so children with less urgent needs may have to wait.
- Most insurance companies won’t cover an emergency department visit unless it’s an emergency as defined by the insurance policy. Be sure you’re familiar with what your policy says about emergency department services before you find yourself in a crisis situation.
- Even though we do our best to put children at their ease in our ED, an unfamiliar environment and group of strangers can be very scary for a child.
We encourage you to use the emergency room appropriately.