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Guidelines for Using Emergency Room Services

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GUIDELINES FOR USING EMERGENCY ROOM SERVICES

Emergency Rooms are for medical emergency situations only.  You should not go to an emergency room for common illnesses like an ear infection, diaper rash, or a cold.

You should call your doctor whenever you have questions or need care. This is the best way to help your doctor take care of you.  Your doctor should provide you with a phone number that you can use to get medical advice at any time, even nights and weekends.  If you or your child are sick after regular office hours and you are concerned, you should call your doctor.  You can also call the 24 hour line at your health plan.  They will be able to give you medical advice and help you make a decision on how to get the right care for your situation.

If it is a true emergency, do not wait to call your doctor first! Some examples of a true emergency are: broken bones, bad bleeding that cannot be stopped, or your child swallowing something poisonous. A true emergency is not something like a common cold, diaper rash, skin bumps, or a mild headache. If it is a true emergency, the hospital will treat you and call your doctor later.