If you are in a stressful event, such as a car accident, you are apt to experience a surge in adrenaline, epinephrine and other stress hormones. These hormones help you cope with anxiety, but they may also mask injury symptoms. Because you may not realize you have sustained an injury until hours after a car accident, it is essential to seek medical care following any type of collision.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, roughly 40 million Americans sought treatment in hospital emergency rooms for injuries in 2017. If you have never been in an ER after a car accident, you should understand what to expect.
The role of the emergency room
Physicians, nurses and other health care professionals in a hospital’s emergency department typically treat individuals who are having some type of medical emergency. The purpose of the ER is to provide triage and immediate treatment. After going to an ER, you may need follow-up care from your primary physician or a medical specialist.
Your arrival procedure
Because patients do not need an appointment for emergency care, the ER may be busy when you arrive. If your injury does not require immediate attention, you may have to wait to see a medical professional. Nonetheless, you should immediately notify ER staff if your condition seems to be worsening during your wait.
Your discussion with medical professionals
When you talk to the ER doctor, nurse or anyone else, you must be careful not to admit fault for the accident. You should, however, provide details about how the crash unfolded. Also, tell hospital staff about your symptoms and medical history, including any medications you take. When the ER physician discharges you, be sure you follow his or her release orders and recommendations.
Remember, the steps you take after a car accident may make a tremendous difference in your ability to receive fair compensation from whomever caused the accident.