Emergency Medicine Rules of Thumb and Tips from The Urgency Room

Tips and guidelines to follow when that scary situation comes up.

Should you call 911, or not? Most of us have faced that on-the-fence moment with a serious—but not immediately life-threatening—illness or injury. Our emergency medical questions are answered by Dr. Carolyn McClain, board-certified emergency physician and assistant medical director of The Urgency Room’s locations in Woodbury, Eagan and Vadnais Heights.

Woodbury Magazine: There are clearly different types of emergency situations where medical treatment is needed. What should I do if I’m not sure whether or not a hospital is needed for treatment?

The Urgency Room: Certainly if you need an ambulance, you need to dial 911. But if not, The Urgency Room is equipped to take care of anything from a heart attack to a broken bone. If after evaluation by our trained emergency physicians it is determined that you need to be in a hospital, your Urgency Room physician can admit you to any local hospital. If you have a question if The Urgency Room is right for your needs, you can always give our nurses a call.

WBM: In the case of an emergency situation where someone is injured, what is the best thing I can do?

UR: First determine if the injury is life-threatening.  If you cannot control the bleeding from the injury, you are unable to transport the injured person in your car or the person is unconscious, you need to dial 911.  If you feel it is safe to transport the injured person yourself, you can bring that person to The Urgency Room for evaluation by an emergency physician who can help determine the best treatment.  

WBM: What are some good tips to follow for injury prevention?
UR: Always wear your seat belt and always wear protective gear, especially a helmet, when skiing or snowboarding. Take the appropriate steps to protect yourself when doing home projects; most injuries happen in the home.