Whenever any of my brothers and sisters got injured or were sick while we were growing up, I always remembered these words come out of my mother's mouth, "Well, let's wait and see."
My mother is a waiter.
This is not a bad thing of course, as there are plenty of injuries or sicknesses that do not need emergency medical attention. It is a bad thing though, if it is something critical. I remember when I was about 12 or so, my brother Jacob broke his leg playing on the neighbor's trampoline. My mom was at the garden and I had to convince her that his leg was definitely broken. Other than major injuries, : ) she was always good at diagnosing and taking care of non-emergency situations. (There were only 3 emergency trips from the 7 of us).
I thought it might be helpful for those moms that are waiters and for those that race to the emergency room at the slightest break in skin, to list some criteria that warrants a visit to the ER as well as some that can stand to be taken care of at home.
Reasons to go to the ER:
--You or your child has a temperature of 104F that is unrelieved by Tylenol or Motrin AND you cannot get in to see your regular doctor
--You or your child has a laceration that needs sutures. For example, very deep or a split like across the eyebrow AND you cannot get in to see your regular doctor
--You or your child has a suspected broken bone and there is obvious deformity or unbearable pain when trying to move it AND you cannot get in to see your doctor.
--You or your child sustains a head injury, with loss of consciousness and are confused when they wake up, for example, ask the same questions over and over again or has slurred speech or just isn't making sense AND you cannot get in to see your doctor
--You or your child is having an allergic reaction, breaking out in hives, getting short of breath, etc.
--You or your loved one has a sudden onset of chest pain that makes you short of breath, nauseas or radiates to your arms, shoulders or back (especially for women), that is unrelieved by antacids or rest, and you have a history of heart or cholesterol problems
--You or your loved one are having any trouble breathing, have a history of asthma, coughing especially at night, chest tightness, pain or pressure, wheezing, very rapid breathing, difficulty talking because of shortness of breath, feelings of anxiety or panic, pale or sweaty face, blue tinged lips or fingernails.
These are signs of an asthma attack, or could be of any type of breathing difficulty. It is especially important to be attentive to these signs in children as risk for respiratory arrest is increased in a child with asthma.
And many others....but please use common sense!
Reasons not to go to the ER:
--You think a bug flew in your ear and you want to see if it got in your brain
--You have a splinter or a paper cut that takes a microscope to even see
--You have a fever and you have not taken Tylenol or Motrin
--You have a runny nose
--You can't find the contact in your eye
--You have the common cold
--You think you are pregnant
--If any of your complaints are followed with the words "for a few months"
Example: "I have had a cough . . . for a few months"
Are you a waiter or do you jump to the ER at any sign of sickness?
Katie (who works in the ER)