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OPINION: Top 10 Ways to Avoid the Emergency Room.

September 19, 2015

Matthew Vasey MD


Department of Emergency Medicine, Tampa General Hospital | Teamhealth, an affiliate of University of South Florida

Disclosure: Opinions reflect neither employer nor affiliated institutions, soley those of the author.



From Letterman to Buzzfeed, pop culture just can’t seem to get enough Top 10 Lists. While slow to the game, NYJSM has made a BIG move on the scene with the “Top 10 Ways to Avoid the Emergency Room”. With so much potential to go viral, let’s just hope the internet doesn’t get hurt.

Without further adieu,

1. Consider utilizing your Primary Care Provider or an Urgent Care facility if you feel ill, but well enough to not need an ambulance. (Caveats of course, Stroke symptoms or Heart Attack symptoms where every second counts - click on the red links for details)
2. Be cautious of your own vices, denial of disease, non-compliance, indulgence in risky behavior, drugs, alcohol, tobacco or even sugar. We are all vulnerable to human nature and when it comes to preventing an ER visit sometimes we can be our own worst enemy.
3. Demonstrate automobile safety not limited to obeying traffic laws, respecting other vehicles and avoiding distracting activities while driving.
4. Reasonable ‘safe-proofing’ of the family home with a young child or senior particularly vulnerable to falls.
5. City safety, or caution to potential uniquely local environmental problems. In the Tampa Bay area for example, fluid hydration with sunny outdoor activities, helmets with city bicycles, life jackets with water sports to name a few.
6. Sometimes a focus on your psychological health and social environment can be enough to counteract the biologic pathology in the bio-psycho-social process of disease.
7. Obesity prevention through regular, moderate activity and a traditionally healthy diet.
8. Undergo evidence based preventive screening exams upon the guidance of your Primary Care Provider.
9. Obtain your Primary Care Provider's recommended vaccinations throughout your lifetime.
10. Engage in an ‘End of life’ topic discussion with a loved one and their Primary Care Provider to establish a formal Advance Directive to guide your family on difficult critical care and resuscitation decisions, or a Palliative - Hospice plan if there is a wish to be at comfort in the home for the dying process.

There you have it, a far from complete list, but certainly a start in one’s odyssey of life without an ER.

Please consider sharing this NYJSM content, it could save a life ... or at least prevent a visit to the Emergency Room. That being said if you have any question or concern about your health condition, please go immediately to your nearest ER or call 911.




This article was inspired by the recent prequel interview and preventive spread by Lisa Green of the Tampa General Hospital News titled, “A Dozen Ways to Stay Out of the Emergency Room”.

Check out TGH News:
https://www.tgh.org/a-dozen-ways-to-stay-out-of-the-emergency-room/

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