Due to a worldwide phenomenon of crowded Emergency Rooms, especially in the winter, I thought I would come up with a list of 10 ways in which you can avoid the ER.
1. Paper Cuts can be treated at home with a Band-Aid – and most definitely do not require transportation to the hospital in an ambulance.
2. If you’ve had too much to drink, see if a friend can help you out instead. There is a limited amount of seats in the ER waiting room for the inebriated. It cannot accommodate the clientele from all the pubs in your local area – despite the fact that congregating in the ER after the pub closes sounds like a barrel full of fun.
***Please note – the sinks in the ER are for washing your hands… not for urinating in.
3. If you’re going to shove drugs up your bum, please just get the police doctor to sort it out. We don’t like to go retrieving drugs from the rectums of criminals if it can be avoided.
4. Avoid taking illicit drugs full stop – especially when you don’t know what they are. That swelling of your upper lip that you get after taking Ecstasy is not an allergic reaction…it’s because you’re chewing your own lip like it’s food.
5. If you’re being arrested and suddenly develop chest pain, please – just be honest with the ER doctor – let us know if you genuinely have chest pain, or if you’re just trying to delay going to jail.
6. That blue skin you get after buying new jeans or bed sheets is not a medical condition – it is simply the blue dye rubbing on to your skin from the fabric – it is not peripheral cyanosis…
7. Don’t pick up random needles off the street – you never know what you’re going to get. If you choose to do so however – it is indeed encouraged that you present yourself to a healthcare professional to get a risk assessment and follow up, as well as some education, including:
“Don’t pick up random needles off the street.”
8. If you smash your head open after consuming too many pints of beer on the weekend, perhaps consider drinking less the next weekend, thus preventing a weekly emergency room visit. If you can’t remember smashing your head – look at your face in the mirror on Sunday morning – there’s probably a fresh set of stiches above your brow.
9. If you’re well, that rash that has been on your skin for the past week could probably be seen by a General Practitioner or Family Doctor, as opposed to an Emergency Doctor – a doctor who treats emergencies…
10. If you’re well, that runny nose can be treated with what North Americans call a Kleenex, or if you’re in the UK, a tissue. They are rather durable these days, and are actually quite good at sopping up that excess snot – trust me, I’m a doctor.
In short: If you have a medical condition which is not an emergency, please consider attending your GP first. Prevention is also the best cure – so avoiding excess alcohol or illicit drug intake can prevent ER admissions as well.
*Please Note: This post is not meant to be offensive to anyone – if it is, I sincerely apologize. I use comedy as a tool to discuss very real issues in society and our healthcare system, and encourage society to think about life choices, such as avoiding excess alcohol and illicit drugs, and visiting their family doctor. Comments are my own and do not reflect opinions shared by previous/current employers. Regards,