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Top Reasons For Emergency Room Visits


(Many of which are unnecessary and counter-productive to an injury claim).

At some point or another, we’ve all been there. A sudden illness or accident requires an unexpected emergency room visit. It isn’t a situation that anyone ever likes to find themselves in, but it still occurs frequently. In 2010 alone, the CDC reported 129.8 million trips to the ER by Americans. While the thought of an emergency room may bring to mind images of heart attacks and gruesome injuries, the conditions treated in an ER vary widely.

Of the total 2010 ER visits, 37.9 were attributable to injuries of some sort. Some of these were sustained in events such as auto accidents, while others occurred due to simple mistakes and avoidable human error. In a great many cases, slightly heightened awareness and caution could have allowed the mishap to have been avoided altogether. Check out this list of some of the top reasons for emergency room visits in the United States:

  • Broken Bones and Sprains – Sudden and forceful movement of the body during a car wreck or physical activity can easily lead to torn or strained ligaments and broken bones. The severity of these types of injuries depends on several factors including the amount of force and area of the body affected. While some sprains sustained during sports events or other activities may be mild enough to simply visit urgent care or schedule an appointment with your general practitioner, more severe injuries such as whiplash will need to be treated right away. Furthermore, anytime a bone is suspected to be broken, treatment should be sought immediately, as it may put other internal organs or structures at risk.
  • Cuts and Bruises – Cuts may require emergency care depending on how deep they are and their location on the body. For smaller, less severe cuts, urgent care will often suffice to treat the injury. However, when cuts are deeper and bleeding is difficult to control, an emergency room visit is needed. Most of these cuts will occur accidentally from the patient themselves. However, many cuts and bruises seen in the ER are due to car wrecks. In 2009, these injuries, as well as broken bones and head trauma from auto accidents accounted for 2.3 million emergency room visits.
  • Headaches – Headaches due to head trauma are not uncommon in the ER. Anytime an accident involves a blow to the head, emergency medical treatment should be obtained, even if the patient feels that nothing is wrong. Head injuries can quickly turn for the worse and may be less successfully treated once symptoms have already begun to manifest. In addition to head trauma, migraines also contribute to ER visits due to headaches. These headaches can cause intense pain and may even been seen along with signs of nausea. In any of these cases, emergency room physicians often conduct testing to rule out more serious conditions.

An unexpected trip to the emergency room is always a stressful and disconcerting event, but it is hopefully one which is easily resolved with some simple medical treatment. While millions of Americans visit the ER every year, many visits are not necessary and sometimes counter-productive to an injury claim. Some less severe injuries may not require an ER visit, but they should be treated thoroughly and cautiously.

If you have sustained an injury for which another party is responsible, contact Spencer Calahan Injury Lawyers. We often discourage clients from going to the emergency room following an accident, unless the client suspects some serious or internal injuries. Often times, our clients are able to get the same (or even better medical care) from a medical professional without an expensive and unnecessary emergency room visit. In New Orleans our team of experienced car accident lawyers can help. To request a free case evaluation, simply click here, or call us directly at (225) 387-2323.