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How do I decide if I need to call EMS or my family doctor?

Tameka White
Nursing

Making a decision to call your family doctor may prove to be helpful if you have being keeping up with your annuals or have recently visited the services or you are well known to the services where the family doctor provides care.

But there is a STOP...... ask yourself 'how am I feeling now?" Do I just need information, or would it better to see my provider right away? have I noticed something different that worries me? Did I forget to take my medications? questions of this nature may be giving you a clue as to your true emergency...

HOWEVER, if your questions start out like this ... " I have the worst headache ever, " I feel pressure and chest tightening in my chest, I suddenly fell to the floor. I cannot breathe properly, I am dizzy and it won’t go away, No one is here in the house with me, I have diabetes, I have heart failure or I have hypertension, then your best bet would be to call EMS and let them decide if your situation needs a visit to the hospital.

 

It is never wrong to call your family doctor to discuss your symptoms. He can give you advise about the appropriate course of action. Most times he will be able to help you deal with your symptoms without having to visit the emergency room. If you believe you or someone with you is having a life-threatening problem then calling 911or EMS is very appropriate. If it is not life-threatening then calling your family doctor would be the appropriate first step.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.